Shelvey and Townsend both joined Newcastle in the January transfer window, and they were two players that the club had been working hard to bring in for some time.
McClaren says the Magpies have wanted Shelvey and Townsend since last summer, and that their arrivals have given everyone a boost.
“We’ve identified that and we needed some English in there,” McClaren said.
“We needed to eventually get there in terms of those homegrown [players].
“It was no coincidence that the interest was there in the summer [in Townsend and Shelvey], the same with Berahino, as it was in January.
“That’s not changed. Shelvey and Townsend were also on the list.
“It took us a while to get them, but we did.
“I know two of the signings very well. I hope Andros settles in very quickly.
“But you saw in the first game against West Ham what Shelvey can do.
“So it’s boosted everybody, the fans included.”
Newcastle have generally targeted players from foreign markets in recent transfer windows, but McClaren has reportedly had a much greater say over who arrives at St. James’ Park than his predecessors (The Guardian).
Premier League clubs are required to have eight English players in their 25-man squads, meaning Newcastle were under pressure to bring in some homegrown players.
Newcastle also attempted to bring in players with experience of playing in England’s top flight, as they cannot afford to take any risks due to their league position.
The Magpies are stuck in the relegation zone as things stand, and they are two points adrift of safety.