Nothing much changes, Steve McClaren at St James Park and claiming his side were unlucky and didn’t deserve to lose.

Thankfully, today he was in charge of the visiting team on his first return since the sacking 11 months ago.

Steve McClaren claims that Derby deserved at least a draw because of their second half showing but in reality, Newcastle should have had the game won by half-time because they were so dominant.

Even in the second half when the Rams improved and Tom Ince missed a sitter, Newcastle should have still scored through Mitrovic and Perez who both wasted great chances.

As the stats show below, whilst possession ended up almost exactly level, Newcastle had almost five times more shots (19 v 4) and four times more efforts on target (8 v 2).

Steve McClaren claimed luck was against them when Darren Bent’s header didn’t go in but it wasn’t bad luck, it was some resilient defending from DeAndre Yedlin with a brilliant clearance off the line, which typified Newcastle’s committed second-half display.

Newcastle United worthy winners no matter what Steve McClaren wants to claim.

Steve McClaren:

“I was disappointed with the first half, we didn’t show enough belief and stood off them too much.

“Mitrovic and Diame dominated us and we couldn’t get a platform in the game.

“I actually thought we settled down a bit and then they scored with a deflected shot.

“I wanted us to have a go in the second half and we made a few changes which made an impact.

“We shouldn’t have lost that game because we were better after half-time, showed more belief and fought with real commitment.

“We deserved to get something.

“It’s frustrating but we have to move on now and show the character and belief that we did in the second half. We can go on from this point.

“Tom (Ince) will be the first to admit he’s disappointed that he didn’t score.

“We can’t complain given all the goals he has scored this season.

“It’s just a shame because that is probably the easiest chance he’s had and he’s missed.

“I could see Benty’s header going straight in from where I was in the technical area but it was just our luck today that it didn’t go in.

“Julien de Sart was excellent when he came on and got us playing more football and got us a lot further forward up the pitch, while Abdoul Camara and Ikechi Anya did well too.

“I felt that the substitutes were going to be important for us and especially with so many games coming up too.

“I feel I now have a bench which can impact things, which helps when we pick up a few niggles like we did today.”

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 1 Derby 0

Newcastle: Ritchie 27

Possession was Derby 49% Newcastle 51%

Total shots were Derby 4 Newcastle 19

Shots on target were Derby 2 Newcastle 8

Corners were Derby 5 Newcastle 5

Referee: Darren Bond

Crowd: 52,231 (3,185 Derby)

Newcastle United:

Darlow, Yedlin, Hanley, Clark, Dummett, Ritchie, Hayden (Perez 49), Shelvey, Gouffran (Lascelles 90+3), Diame, Mitrovic (Ameobi 84)

Unused Subs:

Elliot, Lazaar, Gamez, Murphy

(Read the instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to the match HERE)

(To view our interactive Newcastle v Derby player ratings and to add your own go HERE)