After a busy transfer window which saw his Newcastle side spend more than the entire Bundesliga, boss Steve McClaren says he is "absolutely delighted" with his incomings.
England internationals Jonjo Shelvey and Andros Townsend both joined the Magpies in £12 million deals, whilst Senegalese midfielder Henri Saivet arrived from Bordeaux for £5 million. Although the club failed with several club-record bids for West Brom striker Saido Berahino, they still managed to loan Roma's Seydou Doumbia for the rest of the season.
Speaking to the media before Wednesday night's trip to Everton, McClaren is optimistic about Newcastle's chances of escaping relegation. "We've done some great business, it shows the club's ambition," he said. "Our signings show a statement of intent. We have a very good squad - more than enough to stay up."
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Shelvey and Saivet have already made their Toon Army debuts and McClaren gave updates on whether the latest two will play at Goodison Park. Townsend has "a good chance of starting", although Doumbia is still awaiting a visa and is deemed "touch and go".
As for the rest of the squad, the former England coach gave injury updates on two local lads who have cemented their place in the starting line-up. Paul Dummett, who limped off with hamstring problems against West Ham, "has trained the last three or four days" with Jack Colback close to a return.
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McClaren also spoke about the much-publicised attempts to sign Berahino. A bid of £21 million was submitted on Sunday night but West Brom chairman Jeremy Peace refused to let the striker join relegation rivals.
"That would've been a bonus had it come off," McClaren added. "But that's football."
So, with four new faces added to a promising set of players, there are no excuses for the 54-year-old should Newcastle succumb to relegation. Boxing Day's corresponding game with Everton was the first in a string of four unlucky 1-0 defeats. With goals and creativity added to his ranks, will Newcastle finally pull clear of the drop zone?
Can Newcastle have a good second half of the season under McClaren? Give YOUR opinion in the comment box below!
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