Steve McClaren has confirmed that Newcastle have made no bid for Charlie Austin, but that the club are looking at bringing in more defenders on top of the signing of Chancel Mbemba.

Appearing on a phone-in for Radio Newcastle the United Head Coach fielded questions from fans and stated that rather than selling Moussa Sissoko, he wants to build a new-style team around the French midfielder.

McClaren was also keen to emphasise the work that he and his coaching staff had done so far on corners and free-kicks, one of the things that blighted the years under Alan Pardew.

Already United have scored goals from corners at both Sheffield United and York City, with (whisper it) what looks like a plan.

However, it was with his defence that Steve McClaren was most forthright, declaring ‘you can’t win anything with a bad defence’.

Which is quite a coinicidence because at the minute Newcastle have got…a bad defence.

On Sunday it looks nailed on that Newcastle will start with a back four of Janmaat, Williamson, Taylor and Haidara. Only the Dutch right-back having the overwhelming confidence of the fans.

McClaren also confirmed that Coloccini both stays AND remains Captain.

So even without additions, it is nailed on that the defence could have a far different look once the injured are fully recuperated. With Coloccini and Dummett likely to come in, with also Chancel Mbemba sure to play once he is fully up to speed after his move.

Steve McClaren on BBC Radio Newcastle:

“We are always on the lookout, we have got the personnel but we are always searching for better. It (defence) is one big area that we are looking at.

“We know you can’t win anything with a bad defence –  that is one thing that we are trying to address.”

He’s staying:

“Coloccini is our most experienced player and my dealings with him have been tremendous.

“We have had long, long talks and he wants to stay, so I am delighted…do I need to change the captain? Why do I need to unsettle everything, he carries on.”