Steve McClaren insists he doesn’t deserve criticism for Newcastle’s failure to sign defender

first_imgNewcastle boss Steve McClaren has defended his decision not to sign any defenders in the January transfer window.The Magpies face a defensive crisis for this weekend’s visit of West Brom.McClaren will be without a specialist left-back and is down to his last two central defenders for a game which increasingly looks like a must-win affair after Chancel Mbemba and Paul Dummett picked up injuries in Wednesday night’s 3-0 defeat at Everton, during which Jamaal Lascelles was sent off.Newcastle fans have questioned why the club decided not to add any defenders to their ranks last month, but McClaren insists he could not have foreseen the current injury crisis.He said: “We had four fit ones (central defenders) all training before the window closed, so no, there’s no criticism there.“We would never envisage that in one game, we would lose three defenders, two centre-halves especially.“The sending-off right in the last minute was really frustrating because Jamaal was playing well and we’ll need Jamaal for the next few games.”Mbemba is the main concern with appointments to see specialists in both London and Belgium about his ankle problem having been arranged, and while McClaren is keeping his fingers crossed, there is a fear that the player’s absence could be lengthy.The former England boss said: “We are still waiting. He’s had one scan and I think he is going for a second opinion down in London and also in Belgium, so by the middle of next week, we will really know the diagnosis and how long he will be out.”McClaren, who will miss Lascelles through suspension for just one game, is more hopeful over Dummett after he aggravated an existing hamstring problem, but midfielder Jack Colback, a potential emergency left-back, will not be involved this weekend, leaving his boss with a major headache.He at least has experienced central defender Steven Taylor as his disposal, although his only football since he damaged a hamstring back in August came in a behind-closed-doors practice match defeat to Sunderland 10 days ago.McClaren said: “He’s the next one in line. It’s great for him. He’s been working hard, it’s been a long time. It’s very, very frustrating for him – he’s a true Geordie, he’s a Newcastle boy and he wears his heart on his sleeve.“We will need that kind of character tomorrow and that commitment from him.” 1 Steve McClaren last_img

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