Steve McClaren ready to wield the axe at Newcastle United – and move on fringe players

Steve McClaren

Steve McClaren

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Steve McClaren says not all his Newcastle United players will make the cut at St James’s Park.

McClaren is ready to finalise a squad of 18 to 20 senior players for the new Premier League season.

Now, we’ll sit down and assess the squad and try and think about 18 or 20 players. That’s who’ll we’ll pick from - they’re the ones - and we’ll decide on where the others go.

Steve McClaren

And the rest will be loaned out – or sold.

McClaren made a last check on the club’s fringe players in Wednesday night’s 2-1 defeat to York City at Bootham Crescent.

Many of Newcastle’s senior players – who were set to face Borussia Monchengladbach at St James’s Park this afternoon in the club’s final pre-season friendly – were left behind on Tyneside.

And it’s decision time for McClaren and his staff ahead of the club’s season opener against Southampton at St James’s Park on August 9.

“I think the key thing is come in and give everybody a chance, and I think that’s what we’ve done,” said McClaren.

“Some have done really well and some have disappointed.

“You’re finding out about them.

“I’m delighted with the work they’ve put in.”

McClaren has now had time to assess all the players he inherited, bar captain Fabricio Coloccini, who has been unable to play because of a niggling Achilles problem.

And the likes of Mehdi Abeid, Gael Bigirimana and Shane Ferguson have had a second chance at United.

Haris Vuckic – who had a successful loan at Rangers last season – toured Holland with the Under-21s last month, and the forward’s future is also uncertain.

McClaren will now sit down with his staff to draft a squad list.

“Now, we’ll sit down and assess the squad and try and think about 18 or 20 players,” he said.

“That’s who’ll we’ll pick from - they’re the ones - and we’ll decide on where the others go.

“Some will go out on loan, some we’ll try to sell.

“I think that conversation will come about very soon.”