Newcastle have a difficult start to the season and I don't think Steve McClaren will be too happy with the way Newcastle start the season.
The Magpies will start the season at home to last years surprise package Southampton, followed by away trips to Swansea and Man United, then at home to Arsenal.
Four very tough fixtures there for Newcastle.
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Steve McClaren will have hoped for a slightly easier start than what he has been given but it is what it is and it means he needs to have his team sorted with all of the apparent incoming signings settled before the first game of the season.
Southampton have been somewhat of a bogey team for Newcastle over the past few seasons, especially in their back yard. Fortunately for McClaren, this time it will be at St James' Park.
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Difficult start for McClaren
Although the first game is against high flyers Southampton, McClaren will be very happy that it is at home. You know for a fact that there will be 50,000 Geordies at St James' Park on August 8th roaring their team on. So he does have that as an advantage for the first game.
He does then have to spend two weeks on the road with trips to another Newcastle bogey team from the past few seasons, Swansea. Followed by another trip to Old Trafford to face Louis van Gaal's Manchester United side who will no doubt spend big again this summer.
Just to make it that little bit harder for Newcastle, they then follow that with a home match against Arsenal. The FA Cup winners will be fresh from a tough test against Liverpool.
You know that Arsenal will be at the top of their game after that Liverpool game, they will either be wanting to bounce back from a defeat or they will be in good spirits after a big win. So, Newcastle will have to at their very, very best for that game to have any chance of getting a point.
In all honesty, from these four games I can only see Newcastle picking three or four points from a possible 12 with the current squad. They need to make sure that they invest in their signings early and make sure that they are settled in at the club before the first game. They will need to be at the very top of their game for that early season run in.
How Newcastle do in those games and for the entire season in all honesty, depends on who they sign and when they sign them. They need to sign proven players like Charlie Austin and they need to get them in early July at the latest, give them a chance to settle and get a few pre season games under their belts in the black and white.
This is the only way Newcastle and Steve McClaren can ensure a good start to the season.