JONAS Gutierrez is backing his Newcastle United team-mates to follow his example and chip in with goals in Demba Ba’s absence.
The winger scored an injury-time winner in last weekend’s FA Cup win over Blackburn Rovers.
And Gutierrez is confident Alan Pardew’s midfield and attack can share the goalscoring burden during Ba’s time at the African Cup of Nations, with Sunday’s televised home game against Queens Park Rangers the first Premier League fixture he will miss.
Ba’s goal tally stands at 15, and his form up front has played a huge part in United’s success this season.
Hatem Ben Arfa – who came in for Ba against Blackburn – scored a stunning equaliser himself, and Gutierrez believes there are enough goals in the team.
“Of course, we’re going to miss Demba,” Gutierrez told SportMail.
“He’ll be a big miss, he’s done really well for us, and scored lots of goals.
“And the players who have the opportunity to play in that position must play well. They’re going to have opportunties.
“Now other players are going to have an opportunity, and I’m sure they will take those opportunities.
“All the team have to score goals – that’s going to be really important.
“The defence and midfield have to score more goals. We have to make sure Demba’s absence doesn’t affect our results.”
Gutierrez’s strike was his second of the season, the 28-year-old having netted in Newcastle’s win at Wolverhampton Wanderers early in the season, and he donned his trademark Spider-Man mask in celebration.
And the Argetina international is hoping he has more goals as Pardew’s seventh-placed side look to progress in both the league and FA Cup.
“I try to do my best,” added Gutierrez. “If I have a chance to shoot, I will shoot.
“We don’t have a big squad, and we have a lot of young players, but there’s a big opportunity for us this year. We have to take it game by game.”