Newcastle United were beaten 1-0 by Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium.
Taylor and Lascelles started at centre-back for the Magpies, with both Fabricio Coloccini and Chancel Mbemba out injured.
It looked as if Newcastle would keep a clean-sheet right up until the last 10 minutes, when Xherdan Shaqiri took range from aim.
The Switzerland international hammered the ball beyond Rob Elliot to secure the three points for the Potters.
But McClaren insists that he was pleased with his side’s performance, as they showed plenty of fight.
"We showed fantastic character with a makeshift back four," the former England manager said. "Taylor, who was just coming back, and Lascelles were magnificent, I thought. We were very organised and worked hard up front. We talked that we were in a fight, and we showed that."
Newcastle’s defeat to Stoke has meant that they remain in the relegation zone, with just 11 matches left to play.
The Magpies’ terrible away record has also continued, and unless they start picking up points on the road more regularly it will be hard for the Tynesiders to move away from trouble.
Newcastle’s next match comes against Bournemouth at St. James’ Park, and there will be extreme pressure on McClaren’s men to pick up the three points.