Forest, currently 22nd in the Championship, came from behind on three occasions to eventually fall 4-3 to the Magpies in the final minute of extra-time but McClaren says it was a vast improvement and feels it could prove the catalyst for betterment in future matches.
"We want it to be a catalyst for better performances and results going forward,” he said.
"Everybody knows it's difficult when you join a new club with new players and a new environment. You have to adapt and they have to adapt to you.
"We want these performances more consistently and to make this a catalyst for better performances ahead and better results."