Former Premier League midfielder Danny Murphy believes Newcastle Uninted not having a suitable replacement for Callum Wilson has the potential to drag them into trouble.
The Magpies were beaten 2-0 by Chelsea last night in what was a comfortable victory for the Blues at Stamford Bridge.
Goals came from Olivier Giroud and Timo Werner in west London, and Newcastle never looked like threatening to take any points.
It was the first outing for Steve Bruce without his main man.
£20 million signing Wilson (BBC Sport) is out for around six to eight weeks according to the manager, meaning Newcastle must find a way without him.
In the eyes of Murphy, not being able to call on the England international is a big concern due to the other options available to Bruce.
He said: “This particular game against Chelsea didn’t worry me so much. But the lack of quality that Newcastle have in attacking areas especially when Wilson’s not there is the biggest worry.
“You look at Fulham who are trying to chase them down – they seem to be playing with more confidence, and now have found a guy (Josh Maja) they hope can get the goals.”
Murphy then added that Newcastle are still in a reasonably comfortable position, but that they will have a little panic if the Cottagers win two of their next three games.
Time for the others to step up
Bruce’s other strikers include Andy Carroll, Dwight Gayle and Joelinton.
The first two are out of contract in the summer, and Joelinton’s form at the club since his arrival would potentially warrant a summer sale.
All three are being questioned, and need to step up during what is a crucial period.