It took until the end of the second day of preseason training, but it appears that Newcastle United have finally confirmed Steve McClaren's backroom staff. McClaren has announced that Paul Simpson and Ian Cathro have joined the club as assistant managers, Alessandro Schoenmaker (Mr. Muscle) has joined as fitness coach with Steve Black as a "consultant". Andy Woodman retains his role as goalkeeping coach.
If there were a surprise in any of this it is perhaps the keeping of Woodman, but it is much more a move of long-term interest than a matter of continuity. Keeping Woodman around assures the likelihood that the club can keep highly rated youngster (and full time son of Andy) Freddie Woodman happy and with the club until he can sign professional terms.
Now that we have cleared up the uncertainty around the coaching staff, the club can finally shift complete focus towards bringing in reinforcements which are badly needed to ensure that a repeat of the last three seasons does not occur.