The Magpies boss says no member of his team is undroppable now that his squad has been boosted by a host of players returning from injury.
Paul Dummett, Steven Taylor and Aleksandar Mitrovic were all named in the starting line-up for the Magpies in the 1-0 defeat to Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium on Wednesday after recent spells on the sidelines.
The former England boss admitted that he still has very limited options in defence with the absences of Fabricio Coloccini and Chancel Mbemba, and Jamaal Lascelles was handed only his second Premier League start.
However, McClaren warned his players that none of them must consider themselves undroppable now that his squad is beginning to beef up once again.
He said before Wednesday's match, as quoted by the Chronicle: "Nobody is undroppable.
"We have six [players] back in now, and that’s good competition for places, apart from if you’re a defender. It’s better."
Newcastle headed into the match at the Britannia knowing that a victory would have lifted them into 17th and three points clear of the drop zone after Sunderland's draw on Tuesday.
However, Xherdan Shaqiri's late goal consigned them to a seventh Premier League away defeat and left they second from bottom of the league table, in the relegation zone on goal difference.