NEWCASTLE United must find a way to win without Loic Remy and Mathieu Debuchy – and quickly.
Remy and Debuchy might not return from injury until next month.
And the absence of Remy – the club’s 13-goal leading scorer – with a calf problem is a particular problem.
United, who face Crystal Palace at St James’s Park on Saturday, have not scored in he four games he has missed this year through injury and suspension.
Debuchy – sidelined with a groin problem – has been one of United’s most consistent defenders.
But assistant manager John Carver – who is running the dugout during Alan Pardew’s seven-game suspension – says the club has no other option than to “deal with it”.
“Mathieu is going to be out for three or four weeks,” Carver told SportMail.
“He’s a powerful full-back, who, along with Loic, has been one of our best players of the season.
“We are going to lose them for three or four weeks, Mathieu probably for longer than Loic. But we have to deal with that.”
Newcastle’s cause could be helped by the return of Hatem Ben Arfa.
The forward will return to full training this week, having after recovered from a groin problem and returned from a week’s compassionate leave.
Ben Arfa’s energy and enterprise was missed on Saturday at Craven Cottage, where United were beaten 1-0 by Premier League basement club Fulham.
The 27-year-old has not featured for more than a month, with his last outing having been in the 4-0 St James’s Parkdefeat to Tottenham Hotspur.
And manager Pardew hopes to have him available for the Palace game.
Meanwhile, winger Sammy Ameobi will return to the Newcastle training this week after recovering from the injury which has sidelined him for the last four weeks.