Steven McClaren is ready to take Spanish steps to address Newcastle United’s goalscoring problems – by recalling Ayoze Perez to his starting XI.
McClaren’s side have gone four Premier League games without scoring a goal.
He came on and wanted the ball, took the ball and made a difference.
And Monday night’s 2-0 defeat to West Ham United at Upton Park has left the club bottom of the division with five matches played.
Newcastle return to action against Watford at St James’s Park on Saturday in desperate need of goals – and a victory.
Head coach McClaren, again without suspended striker Aleksandar Mitrovic, is ready to recall Perez, who was lively when he came off the bench, along with Siem de Jong, with 60 minutes gone against West Ham.
Asked if Perez had given him something to think about, McClaren said: “Absolutely. He came on and wanted the ball, took the ball and made a difference.
“That’s what we needed. He gave us that. We didn’t have too much elsewhere. I thought Siem came on and made a difference.”
Newcastle have gone almost seven hours without a goal in the league, and McClaren said: “We had no cutting edge to get one back. We had opportunities, chances, but it was not to be.”
The team’s goalscoring problems have been exacerbated by defensive wobbles, and McClaren was particularly unhappy with Dimitri Payet’s second goal, which came from a Newcastle free-kick deep in West Ham’s half.
“We keeping work,” said McClaren. “We build at a platform.
“At the other end, if you don’t defend well and concede bad goals, and you can’t score, you’re going to lose games. We need a reaction now.”
Papiss Demba Cisse lead the line against West Ham, but it was a forgettable night for the striker, who netted in the opening game of the season.
And Cisse’s place in the team is under threat from Perez and de Jong.
Asked about Cisse’s performance, McClaren said: “It was difficult for everybody in terms of the service.
“We lacked quality in the final third. That’s been a concern for four games.”