Why Steve McClaren think it’ll be ‘easy’ to name his Newcastle starting XI

Newcastle boss Steve McClaren faces up to Jurgen Klopp today
Newcastle boss Steve McClaren faces up to Jurgen Klopp today

Steve McClaren says his team selection for the Aston Villa game is “easy” – even though he must leave out two strikers.

Ayoze Perez and Aleksandar Mitrovic came off the bench to fire Newcastle United to a 2-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur last weekend.

The key thing for me is that I have four strikers. They are all training well, and over the last two games, especially last week, the four of them won us the game.

Steve McClaren

The result lifted the club out of the Premier League’s relegation zone and up to 15th place.

Perez and Mitrovic are pushing for recalls to head coach McClaren’s starting XI for this evening’s home game against basement club Aston Villa.

“The key thing for me is that I have four strikers,” said McClaren, whose side beat Liverpool on their last home outing.

“They are all training well, and over the last two games, especially last week, the four of them won us the game.”

McClaren paired Papiss Cisse and Siem de Jong up front against Tottenham and Liverpool.

And he has hinted that Perez and Mitrovic could again find themselves on the bench at St James’s Park.

McClaren has called for “patience” from his team – and fans – ahead of the televised match.

And Perez and Mitrovic could again be asked to make an “impact” from the bench.

McClaren said: “I think Siem and Papiss have come into the team and provided experience and a certain amount of leadership.

“Agaisnt Liverpool, and the first 60 or 70 minutes against Spurs, they gave us a great platform to go on and Mitrovic and Ayoze did the job they are supposed to do.

“They came on and made an impact. We said ‘win us the game’, and they did. So that is nice to have.

“It is a squad game, and sometimes subs are the most important people. You look around that bench and say ‘go on – change the game’ or ‘win us the game’.

“That’s what they did, so it’s a tough decision tomorrow, but quite an easy one for me, I think.”

Meanwhile, midfielder Cheick Tiote has recovered from the hamstring problem which has sidelined him for the past month.