Paul Simpson says Newcastle United’s players needn’t be “nervous” about working with Steve McClaren.
Simpson has been appointed as assistant coach at the club by new head coach McClaren.
And the 48-year-old – who previously worked with McClaren at Derby County – has been getting to know Newcastle’s players along with fellow assistant coach Ian Cathro.
United’s squad, bar Moussa Sissoko and Tim Krul, reported back for pre-season training last week, and Simpson has been heartened by the attitude and application of the players.
Simpson said: “We’re delighted with what we’ve got. (The players) are showing that they’ve got the enthusiasm, that they want to learn and listen.
“I think they’re still a little bit nervous because of all the changes that are going on, but they’ll get used to us – they’ll realise that we’re not the type of people who rule everything with a stick.
“We want their input into it. We want them to enjoy training – we want them to be enthusiastic – and I think when you come back for pre-season, you can’t help but be enthusiastic working at a football club like this.”
McClaren has also brought fitness coach Alessandro Schoenmaker and consultant Steve Black to St James’s Park.
Andy Woodman – who served under former manager Alan Pardew and departed head coach John Carver – remains the club’s goalkeeping coach.
Simpson added: “It’s a great opportunity for us all to come to a football club like this.
“Steve’s tried to put a management team together that’s going to help as much as we possibly can.
“He’s brought Ian Cathro in – who’s a very bright, up-and-coming coach with a fantastic energy to him and really good ideas – and myself to help with the organisational stuff, an extra pair of hands out on the training field.
“Alessandro’s come in on the fitness side to go alongside what’s already here, and one thing that has really pleased us since we came into the building is that the other staff have been absolutely spot on so far.
“They’ve really taken us in – they all want to be involved – and hopefully with us all together, we can help bring some real good times back to the football club.”