With players returning to fitness, Steve Bruce can change his Newcastle side around as he hunts for goals, but he has already hinted at sticking with Miguel Almiron for the Wolves game.
Almiron has struggled badly this season, as the weight of his goal drought becomes a heavier burden to carry week after week, and surely the best thing for the player is a spell on the bench.
But Bruce, so far, has been determined to stick with the Paraguayan at all costs, even though consistently putting him in the firing line could actually be doing him more harm than good.
Bruce told the Chronicle after the Chelsea defeat: “He [Almiron] looks a little bit short on confidence at the moment because he hasn’t scored a goal. We hope that can return, but it only really returns when he gets one, which will hopefully be next week.”
That suggests he has already decided to give the former MLS star another starting chance against Wolves. But how many more chances can he afford to give him?
Almiron needs a spell on the bench
I like Almiron. But it is blatantly clear he needs a break.
I have said before, having him – fresh and full of energy – to come on as a substitute against tiring defenders in the second-half of a game, is the best way for him to get the goal he craves.
Bruce now has a virtually fully fit Andy Carroll, Dwight Gayle looking to prove a point and Allan Saint-Maximin who looks like he may be able to score goals from anywhere.
All of those could do a job, and will hopefully be able to get up in support of Joelinton better.
It is refreshing to see a manager keeping faith with a player he believes in, but if he continues to start a low-performing Almiron, it will be a huge mistake, and one the player may never be able to come back from.