Steve McClaren says there are “no excuses” for him and his Newcastle United players after splashing £28.5million

Steve McClaren says there are “no excuses” for him and his Newcastle United players after the club’s £28.5million spending spree.

McClaren’s struggling side have been in the Premier League’s relegation zone for much of the season.

I don’t think there ever has been an excuse – I don’t think you (the media) have ever given me chance of an excuse in all the games and weeks that we’ve had.

Steve McClaren

But Newcastle take on Everton tonight buoyed by the arrival of £12million winger Andros Townsend, who is expected to make his debut at Goodison Park.

The club, which forked out more than £50million for five players last summer, also signed Jonjo Shelvey, Henri Saivet and Seydou Doumbia in last month’s transfer window.

And McClaren feels he has now got the strength in depth in needs to guide the team up the table.

“I’m delighted with what we brought in,” said head coach Steve McClaren. “The squad is a lot stronger than what it was at the beginning of the month.

“I like the four that we’ve signed. We got Saivet because we thought Cheick (Tiote) was leaving, but I’ve been an admirer of Jonjo Shelvey for a long time.

“I remember when I was in Holland, I used to phone Tim Sherwood every season asking if we could get him on loan.

“So I’ve followed him. He’s a quality player, he just needs the chance to play.

“We needed a striker who can score goals and plays on the shoulder a little bit more than what we’ve got and stretches defences. In Doumbia we’ve got that now.

“We needed that passer in midfield and Shelvey can certainly pass. I wanted more speed on the wing and we’ve got that with Andros, so we’re getting there.”

McClaren had been under intense pressure late last year after presiding over a poor run of results.

Asked if there were now “no excuses”, he added: “I don’t think there ever has been an excuse – I don’t think you (the media) have ever given me chance of an excuse in all the games and weeks that we’ve had.

“I didn’t expect any before, and I definitely don’t expect any now.

“We’re just trying to improve, get better and win games. We have to play at 100% intensity for the full 90 minutes to be in with a chance of winning.

“That is difficult, that is hard, so we needed to improve our squad and our team, in terms of quality and character.

“We needed to change the make-up of things, and I think we’ve done that.

“I certainly hope and expect that we’ll be a better team once the players have gelled together and we start moving forward again.”