At his press conference on Monday, Steve McClaren said that he is committed to putting out his ‘strongest team possible’ against Northampton on Tuesday night.
Though he does qualify it by saying that the selection will have to take into account the matches against Manchester United and Arsenal, as well as the ‘strength in the squad’.
Obviously a reference to giving other players a game, though if those players are the likes of Aarons, de Jong and Thauvin, then it is a far cry from the teams regularly put out by Alan Pardew in cup competitions, or the feeble eleven chosen by John Carver against Leicester in January.
A team selection that many fans took to be one that was put out with little care by the club if it got beat.
McClaren claims that the cup competitions ‘can be a great boost’ and even though Newcastle put on a much better display at Old Trafford, there is nothing like wins to build confidence, starting with Northampton tomorrow night.
Like pretty much every manager, Steve McClaren gives the opposition the appropriate respect, saying that the visitors ‘are a good team who are strong’.
However, the fact remains that Northampton play in League Two and after starting the season with two league wins, they have lost 2-0 to Barnet and Plymouth in the last couple.
Anything other than a convincing win for United will be disappointing.
Steve McClaren quotes released by the club after today’s press conference:
“We will be putting out our strongest team possible, taking into account Saturday, this weekend and the strength in the squad.
“The cups can be a great boost for you. Nobody wants to lose a football match. We have to do a professional job.
“Northampton are a good team who are strong. In football, any team on their day can beat anyone. If we’re not right, they will hurt us.”