NEWCASTLE United boss Alan Pardew could again play three at the back - as he feels the club is “overloaded” with centre-halves.
Pardew fielded Fabricio Coloccini, Mike Williamson and Steven Taylor against Stoke City last weekend in a surprise move.
Newcastle had conceded 11 goals in their three previous Premier League games.
And Pardew, who used Paul Dummett and Vurnon Anita as wing-backs, felt the ploy, for the most part, worked at the Britannia Stadium, where United were undone by a misdirected cross from Erik Pieters which ended up in the United net.
Pardew is assessing his options for Saturday’s Premier League home game against Swansea City, for which right-back Mathieu Debuchy could be fit after a six-game absence.
“I tried to play three and have a look at it, and we did a really good job,” Pardew told SportMail.
“I thought we had a good base to the game in terms of how we were set up.
“We’re obviously overloaded with quality centre-backs.
“It’s something I’m looking at as we have Colo, Tayls, Mapou (Yanga-Mbiwa) and Willo.”
Injury-hit Pardew, who also hopes to have leading scorer Loic Remy back, must find a way to win with the players he has available.
Travelling fans chanted for the 52-year-old to be sacked at the Britannia Stadium for the first time and the home crowd could on him turn if things go against them against Swansea.
“As far as I’m concerned, we have to get a system that works for us with the players we have available,” he said.
“We’ve got 10 senior players missing – that’s a problem.”
United are ninth in the table with four games left to play.
Meanwhile, midfielder Moussa Sissoko, who has a hamstring problem, could be fit for the visit to Arsenal on April 28, having tweeted that he will be “back soon”.
Sissoko suffered the injury in the club’s 4-0 defeat to Southampton late last month.