Newcastle United don’t play again until after the January transfer window closes and Steve McClaren has made clear where the team desperately need to strengthen.

Speaking after the latest defeat at Watford the United boss summed up his team, saying he ‘…can’t fault their effort or attitude, just the quality at both ends’.

Only four clubs have scored less goals and only Sunderland & Norwich have conceded more.

If Mike Ashley doesn’t take notice of Steve McClaren’s assessment then it looks a sure thing that Newcastle will be in a relegation battle until the bitter end.

Recent weeks have seen the failings of other teams save Newcastle from being cut adrift with Villa and the mackems but that will come to an end at some point.

Newcastle are desperate for more quality at the back, especially at left-back but maybe realistically the best we can hope for is one decent quality signing and so that has to be a striker who scores goals.

For once I can’t argue with Steve McClaren and as he says – ‘If you don’t score goals you don’t win games’.

Steve McClaren talking to NUFC TV:

“We have lost a game we shouldn’t lose, again.

“But we do stand here quite a few times and say the same thing. You have got to be able to defend at one end and score at the other – we are not doing enough of both.

“In between, the performance was good, the effort, we kept fighting, had opportunities, chances, but you can’t concede two goals and win away from home.

“I don’t think we actually need to play offside (first goal) but it looked offside and that is what Ighalo does. He plays on the thin line and he got the decision and tucked it away.

“I thought we were excellent first half, good shape and controlled the game.

“Very pleased at half-time and we talked about the first 10 minutes being important and it was – we were 2-0 down.

“We are not scoring enough away from home, I think that’s the key thing. If you don’t score you don’t win games.

“The boys tried, can’t fault their effort or attitude, just the quality at both ends.

“I thought Rolando (Aarons) did great job at left wing-back, we went three at the back and I thought we stopped them playing, dealt with Ighalo and Deeney very well.

“When you don’t get the first goal it is difficult – the system worked well, we changed and we went for it.”

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