At his pre-Watford press conference, Steve McClaren has confirmed that five players will be missing from the Newcastle squad that travels to Vicarage Road.

In an earlier interview with BBC Newcastle, the United Head Coach had hinted that the injury problems were getting more acute, especially at the back.

In his press conference McClaren confirmed there hadn’t been any late good news.

Ivan Toney was reported earlier today to have suffered ankle ligament damage and is out for up to six weeks according to Steve McClaren, though an official statement by the club said it was 10-12 weeks.

McClaren also confirms that Siem de Jong is missing, with him not having recovered from his poke in the eye in training.

The Head Coach also confirms that Kevin Mbabu is still unavailable, whilst the other two options at left-back are also missing.

McClaren saying that neither Paul Dummett or Jack Colback will be involved.

This appears to mean it is very likely that Jamaal Lascelles will turn out as an emergency left-back, even though many Newcastle fans would fancy seeing Rolando Aarons given a try as a left wing-back.

It also appears to pave the way for Hanri Saivet to make his first start alongside other new signing Jonjo Shelvey.

Although, with Cheick Tiote flying back to Tyneside and no deal yet agreed with Shanghai Shenhua, the Ivory Coast midfielder could possibly be pressed into service once again.

Tomorrow’s bench could look interesting…Steve McClaren indicating that Steven Taylor may feature on it, as well as Emmanuel Riviere and possibly Cheick Tiote?

Steve McClaren:

“We’ve only got four fit defenders, the majority of them centre-backs. Mbabu, Dummett and Colback are all out.

“Emmanuel Rivière will be on the bench. There will be no Ivan Toney and no Siem de Jong.

“We’ve played Watford a couple of times and in the cup we were very unlucky. They haven’t won for a few games & need a win.

“The mood is good. There’s a buoyancy. We’ve not turned the corner yet, we’re not out of the pit but we’re climbing our way out.”