McClaren wants Derby assistant Simpson to join him at Newcastle

Steve McClaren wants to team up again with his Derby No.2, Paul Simpson (right)
Steve McClaren wants to team up again with his Derby No.2, Paul Simpson (right)
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Steve McClaren will look to appoint his Derby County No.2 Paul Simpson to his coaching staff at Newcastle United – and not Magpie old boy Lee Clark.

Simpson is still under contract at the Rams, but is set to join his old boss on Tyneside.

Ex-Blackpool and Birmingham manager Clark had been linked with a return to St James’s Park, but looks set to miss out on a role in McClaren’s backroom team, though Simpson and fitness guru Steve Black could be appointed in the next 48 hours.

Clark said: “I’m an ex-player at Newcastle, I’ve been a manager and a coach, but whether Steve wants me to be part of his set-up, we’ll just have to wait and see.

“For any lad who has been connected with the club, you would love to be part of it in any way, shape or form.”

Managing director Lee Charnley, meanwhile, says McClaren is a “perfect fit” for the Tynesiders.

Charnley had tried to bring the former England boss to United twice previously, and believes he has the strength of character to handle the pressures of managing the club.

Charnley said: “From my first meeting with Steve, I knew he was the perfect fit for Newcastle United.

“This is a huge job which comes with considerable pressures and I am convinced that Steve not only understands the weight of expectation that comes with this role, but that he has the strength of character and professionalism befitting of a club of our size and status.

“Our immediate focus will be on working with Steve to assess and improve upon our playing squad, as well as appointing individuals to his backroom staff.”