Newcastle defeated Lillestrom 2-1 in Saturday’s friendly and 20 of the 26 players who travelled were on duty, after the game though Steve McClaren was asked about the six who hadn’t been included in the matchday squad.

The six who weren’t involved (see details of the 20 who were, below) were Rob Elliot, Siem de Jong, Paul Dummett, Jack Colback, Vurnon Anita and Cheick Tiote.

Steve McClaren confirmed that de Jong, Anita and Colback have all trained this week but that Colback had a ‘niggle’ which prevented him playing, whilst before the game it was indicated that Anita and de Jong weren’t quite ready to play.

As for Rob Elliot, the Chronicle reported before kick-off that there was no problem with him, just a case of giving Woodman and Darlow some pitch time.

No mention though of Cheick Tiote or Paul Dummett, though Steve McClaren did go out of his way to praise 18 year old Liam Gibson who played at left-back for 82 minutes against Lillestrom and mentioned ‘them problems at left-back’ which they have.

Sounds like there is no chance of Dummett making the Stoke game but hard to see McClaren suddenly throwing an 18 year old into this kind of game for his debut.

More likely that it will be any one of Colback, Lascelles or even Vurnon Anita, if fit enough.

Steve McClaren talking to the club’s official tv channel:

“Vurnon Anita and Siem de Jong were back in full training on Tuesday, same with Jack Colback.

“He (Colback) had a little niggle so we didn’t want to risk that.

“So that is good that they are back with us and they will train and get ready for the next 12 games.

“We have talked a lot about Stoke and the preparations for that and hopefully by that time (Wednesday 2 March) we will be ready.”

Steve McClaren was also asked about two younger players who were involved yesterday, left-back Liam Gibson (turns 19 in April) and right-back Jamie Sterry (turns 21 in November)

“We are looking at Liam Gibson and we have got them problems at left-back, so look at that…I thought Jamie Sterry came on and did a great job.”

NUFC (4-2-3-1):

Darlow (Woodman 46),  Janmaat (Sterry 66), Taylor, Lascelles, Gibson (Barlaser 82), Saivet, Shelvey (Gouffran 66), Townsend (Aarons 66) Wijnaldum (Riviere 66), Perez, Doumbia

Unused on the bench:

Williams, Coloccini, Sissoko