Newcastle manager Steve McClaren admits it’s a race against time to be ready for new season

Newcastle's pre-season preparations haven't gone entirely to plan, with their latest defeat coming against York City on Wednesday.

Steve McClaren has spoken of his concern at whether his Newcastle side will be ready for their Premier League opener against Southampton in 10 days time.

“I’m like every manager… You always have concerns,” said McClaren, in quotes published by the Shields Gazette.

“You never quite know where you are at, especially when you have just come in and you try to establish something and you are trying to play catch-up and get to know everybody.”

His arrival in June got off to a slow start, with plenty of fans frustrated by the lack of transfer activity, but the last few weeks have seen movement on the player front.

Strong additions have been made to the squad, with Georginio Wijnaldum the standout signing and Aleksandar Mitrovic boasting bags of potential.

Yesterday saw the arrival of young defender Chancel Mbemba from Anderlecht, and there is the sense that McClaren is starting to make his mark on the squad.

There is still work to do, however, and the Newcastle boss touched on the time pressure he faces to be prepared for next weekend’s game, adding in the Shields Gazette: “It has been short, but we have 10 or 11 days to go. They will be interesting days.”

His last comment hints at the possibility of further arrivals next week, but whether they would be available to face Southampton right away is doubtful

Despite the additions to the squad, the Newcastle faithful will not be thrilled by McClaren’s revelations, and with a difficult opening run of fixtures facing the Magpies, a more confident tone is surely required from the Newcastle gaffer.

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