| 4.9°C Dublin

McClaren is handed dual task at the Toon

Steve McClaren has finally been announced as Newcastle's new head coach six months after initially being offered the job.

The Magpies, who parted company with John Carver and Steve Stone on Tuesday, announced last night that the 54-year-old has been installed as Alan Pardew's permanent replacement after signing an initial three-year contract.

McClaren has been handed the challenge of securing a top-eight finish in the Premier League and to aim for a first trophy for the club since 1969.

Managing director Lee Charnley said: "Steve has been tasked to secure a top-eight finish in the Premier League and he is also heavily incentivised to try to win a cup competition.

"We recognise supporters' strong desire to win a trophy, an ambition which the club now shares. 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."

Former England boss McClaren was identified as the club's top target within weeks of Pardew's departure in January, but opted at that point to remain at Derby and see through the club's bid for promotion.

Ultimately he was to fall short in that quest for the second successive season, but another more urgent approach proved equally fruitless when Newcastle came calling again in May in desperate need, with just three games of their own unravelling campaign remaining.

However, they finally got their man after investigating a series of possibilities. McClaren said: "St James' Park is a symbol for the city, and I am excited to be given this opportunity."