Ahead of the Manchester United match, Steve McClaren has claimed once again that all that’s missing is ‘putting the ball in the net’.

Something which he appears to be contradicting though with Henri Saivet added yesterday and Jonjo Shelvey having his medical today...

One big improvement the Head coach believes is apparent, is in terms of defending as a team.

Whilst Newcastle have only conceded one goal in each of their last four matches, they have all ended in defeat as United have gone 435 minutes without scoring.

Interestingly, Steve McClaren also believes that his side have ‘evolved’ and are ‘far better’ than three or four months ago.

Early on against the likes of Southampton and tonight’s opponents Manchester United, Newcastle actually looked decent in large areas of the team, then seemed to lose their way and confidence as they failed to win for so long.

Hopefully the watching new signing(s) will inspire the team tonight and if Saivet and/or Shelvey are involved on Saturday they will be coming into a team growing in confidence and even further ‘evolved’.


Steve McClaren:

“There are spells now where we are playing good football and defending well – as a team. I think that is the key thing, not just the back four and goalkeeper.

“We are just not getting that final end product.

“I think the team has evolved and is far better than three or four months ago.

“We always say ‘hard to beat and earn the right to play’ and we have been doing that. They have played good football and crafted chances – before we weren’t creating chances, before we were conceding too many goals.

“We have now kind of got the balance…up to that most critical and important thing of putting the ball in the net – we are just not getting the results that the team deserve.”