With Norwich losing to Chelsea last night, the Magpies have a great chance to put some daylight between themselves and the relegation zone, and perhaps more importantly to some fans, drop Sunderland back into the bottom three.
McClaren reveals his frustrations
The former Derby County manager has worked with a number of sides, including FC Twente of Holland where he won the Eredivisie. He has managed in Germany with Wolfsburg, and most famously McClaren managed England.
Yet despite not managing to even qualify for a tournament with the national side, McClaren has labelled Newcastle as the most frustrating club he has managed, citing the drastic drops in performance levels from one week to the next as the main issue.
“After West Brom, good football, showing their talent, good teamwork and a fantastic performance appreciated by the crowd. Then the next performance is 5-1, and it could have been nine or ten,” Said McClaren.
Newcastle have had their fair share of injury issues this season, which must have contributed to McClaren stating they are the most frustrating side he’s worked with.
For a number of games the manager has had to put out a number of different sides, particularly in defence making a number of different back fours.
Again, the Newcastle defence has taken a major hit with both mainstay centre-backs out with injury. Chancel Mbemba has been a solid signing so far for the North-East club, signing a young defender from abroad always has questions but the former Anderlecht man has taken the first team slot as his own. But now he is likely to miss the next two games.
As is captain and experienced defender Fabricio Coloccini. The Argentine has been a main stay at the heart of the defence for a number of years and his injury means the both centre-back roles are wide open.
However it’s not all doom and gloom. Six first team players are expected to come back into the side which is a major boost for McClaren.
Papiss Cisse and Aleksander Mitrovic are the two strikers that will come back into the side in the build up to the match against Stoke. Which will also be music to the ears of Ayoze Perez who would have likely to have had to lead the line alone.
Siem de Jong, Jack Colback and Vurnon Anita are set to come back into the midfielder to compete for places with Jonjo Shelvey and Henri Saivet in the centre of the park.
An unlikely hero could come into the first team, with both centre-backs out injured, Curtis Good could be the man to take a place at the back. The Australian defender has been at Newcastle since he was 18 and has seen his career take him to Bradford City and Dundee United on loan.
Now 22, Good has hit the point in his career where he should be nailing down regular football or seek a move to a club that can offer him just that.