Steve McClaren begins the quest to end Newcastle United’s 60-year wait for silverware at St James’ Park on Tuesday as they welcome Northampton Town in the League Cup second round.
Not since their FA Cup triumph in 1955 have Newcastle lifted a major trophy and the Tyneside faithful are desperate for that to change.
The League Cup did offer some hope of glory last season as Newcastle reached the last eight, but McClaren’s task is to take his new side all the way this time around.
When he was appointed in June the former Derby County boss publicly stated that winning a trophy was one of his “primary objectives”, suggesting the former England boss will name a strong side even against League Two opposition.
Florian Thauvin could make his first start after being introduced from the bench in their goalless Premier League draw with Manchester United on Saturday.
While not a victory, the point at Old Trafford pleased McClaren, but he knows there are still a lot of improvements to be made if he is to bring success to the club.
“We’re far from where we want to be and there a lot of areas we need to improve on, but we’ll get better as the weeks go on,” he said after the draw in Manchester.
Ivan Toney, another of McClaren’s close-season acquisitions, could also feature against the club Newcastle plucked him from in August.
The 19-year-old has yet to feature for the Premier League side, but could be handed a run-out against his former employers.
Northampton set up the Newcastle clash with a first-round win over crisis-club Blackpool, but they have only won once since and lost their last two league matches 2-0.
After Saturday’s reverse against Plymouth Argyle, manager Chris Wilder was left downbeat and concerned about Tuesday’s result if they play at a similar level against Newcastle.
“We didn’t work hard enough to get on the ball and when we did have possession we didn’t show enough patience or composure,” he said.
“The performance we produced [against Plymouth] was totally unlike one we’ve produced so far this season and we’ve got a big week coming up now.
“We can’t afford to lose three games on the bounce and this is an early-season test for us but I’m sure we’ll come through it.”
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