Newcastle United have been in Spain on an intensive training camp.
The Magpies have taken advantage of their free weekend to undergo a warm-weather training camp in Spain and play a specially arranged friendly with Norwegian side Lillestrom.
Those fit and able to take part have gone to La Manga, including a number of the club’s younger players in a bid to help build team spirit ahead of the critical final stages of the season.
Speaking to reporters following his side’s friendly victory, McClaren was delighted with the effort shown and reserved special praise for two potential stars of the future.
“This was a decent work out in difficult conditions but good to see the likes of Jamie Sterry and Liam Gibson doing well,” the former Derby County boss added.
Gibson, a talented left-back, started the encounter for Newcastle while Sterry, a natural right-back, replaced regular first-team star Daryl Janmaat at half-time.
Sterry in particular had a real positive effect, providing an assist late on as Rolando Aarons got on the end of his teasing cross to nod home the winner for the Tyneside club.
It is unlikely that the duo will feature for Newcastle in the season run-in, but the fact that McClaren is paying attention and giving the under-21s a chance in friendlies bodes well for the future.
Newcastle are not back in action until March 2 when they face Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium.