NEWCASTLE United may have to make an emergency move in January’s transfer window.
The club is second-from-bottom of the Premier League ahead of this afternoon’s game at Swansea City.
And fears among fans that Alan Pardew’s squad was short of an experienced striker appear to have been borne out over the past seven weeks.
Newcastle have failed to score in four of their first six league games.
Pardew had insisted after the summer transfer window closed that he was confident his team had enough goals in it.
But the United’s under-fire manager has conceded that the club may well need to strengthen in January.
Pardew, however, remains hopeful that Newcastle can challenge in the top half of the division.
Asked if there was still a chance of a good season, he said: “I think it’s possible. In the past, teams have started like this and finished really strongly.
“For us, our focus is on the short term, and see where we are when we get to January, because we really need to be away from the bottom six or seven.
“Otherwise, in January, we might need to do something, because we want to be in the top half. That’s our focus.”
Newcastle last took three points from their first six league games in the 2003-04 season, when the late, great Sir Bobby Robson was in charge at St James’s Park.
United recovered and finished fifth that campaign – but Robson had Alan Shearer and Craig Bellamy leading the line.
While Pardew’s squad looks short in a couple of areas, the 53-year-old’s maintains he still believes the players he has are good enough to pull the club away from trouble.
“Yes, because I believe in the squad, of course,” said Pardew.
“If we had one game to go and we needed three points, I would still believe in the squad.
“That’s how football managers are made – I don’t think the media quite get that. It doesn’t matter, when that window shuts, that’s my team, I have got to make it happen.
“I have got to produce out of that team, I have got to find a way. That’s my job.”
While some of Newcastle’s rivals paid – handsomely – for Premier League experience in the summer, United opted only signed one player – free transfer Jack Colback – from the division.
Pardew, however, has defended the club’s long-established approach to recruitment, which has seen many players, among them Yohan Canaye and Cheik Tiote, signed directly from continental clubs.
“We have produced some fantastic signings at this football club,” said Pardew.
“I don’t think anyone would deny that, so we can’t suddenly say we have got it all wrong and this is the wrong model and these are the wrong players.
“We have got to give them time, and it hasn’t helped, the fact that we haven’t won.
“I think Jack has been terrific, maybe because he understands the Premier League a little bit more than the others.
“But we need to produce great players at the football club. This football club has to have great players.”