Steve McClaren has "no excuses left" as Newcastle throw out the big bucks

The Telegraph's Luke Edwards talks to Off The Ball about the effects of January splurge

Steve McClaren

Steve McClaren (Picture by: Jonathan Brady / PA Wire/Press Association Images)

Perhaps there was a 'now or never' element to it, but Newcastle certainly had a very busy January transfer window.

Battling relegation, owner Mike Ashley has backed head coach Steve McClaren with a slew of new signings, including Henri Saivet (£5 million), Jonjo Shelvey (£12 million), Andros Townsend (£12 million) and Seydou Doumbia on loan from AS Roma.

The Telegraph's North-East correspondent Luke Edwards has told Off The Ball that it is "fuelled by the fear of relegation".

After many years without spending heavily under Ashley, the new splurge on players could even be viewed in a positive light.

"It does seem to have changed for the better," said Edwards, also highlighting that the Magpies did spend significantly in the summer.

"£80 million since the summer, that makes them the second highest spenders behind Manchester City in the Premier League and I think in January they spent more than the entire Bundesliga clubs combined, so it's a lot of money they've spent.

Shelvey, Wijnaldum and Mitrovic have all joined during the last two transfer windows (Picture by: Andrew Matthews / PA Wire/Press Association Images)

"If you're Steve McClaren, you'd be delighted because they've definitely improved the squad but it probably puts him under more pressure now than he was because they desperately need to get out of relegation trouble. If they don't look like they've done that in four to six weeks, you'd have to start worrying about his position. But he's got no excuses left and I think he said that today."  

Edwards says Newcastle are still "flaky" and not enjoying a good runs of results, even if there have been some positive signs when it comes to recent performance levels.

However, he thinks with the new additions, the Magpies will "pull clear of trouble" now, although he also spoke about the diminishing influence of chief scout Graham Carr - who had ups and downs with signings from the French market - as McClaren had "more of an impact" in the latest recruitment spree.