Three things Newcastle must do to turn their season around

After a disastrous second half to last season, most Newcastle fans will have been looking forward to a fresh start under a new manager in 2015-16.

However, with only two points gained from their first six Premier League games and elimination in the Capital One Cup by modest opposition, it is much of the same this term for the Tyneside club.

There was significant expenditure by owner Mike Ashley over the course of the summer, with four big-money signings arriving from overseas, but still the St James’ Park squad looks like it is lacking top quality.

With this in mind and pressure starting to build on Steve McClaren already, here are three things the club must do to turn its fortunes around…

Sort the centre of defence out

Mbemba

Of the new signings from the summer, young centre-half Chancel Mbemba has been by far the most impressive, with the former Anderlecht enforcer looking like he has all the attributes to be a real star in the Premier League.

However, unfortunately alongside him captain and long-term talisman Fabricio Coloccini has looked decidedly off the boil and is actually more of a liability for Newcastle currently than an asset.

As such, the use of Steven Taylor, one of the few homegrown players, in the Argentine’s place makes sense.

Coloccini still could have a role to play in the centre of midfield, where a dominant and able performer like the South American would be more useful to the collective.

Get Thauvin on the ball

Thauvin

When Newcastle signed Remy Cabella last summer, most of the Tyneside faithful believed they had a top-class new player on their hands.

Despite the former Montpellier man’s technical ability, he simply did not take to Premier League football and has since returned to his homeland as part of the deal to bring Florian Thauvin to Tyneside.

The new attacking midfielder arrives with a burgeoning reputation and showed just why with a goal and three assists in his first game in the Capital One Cup.

In Premier League action Thauvin has much less of an impact and has drifted in and out of games.

To avoid the Frenchman following in countryman Cabella’s footsteps, building his confidence up by giving him the ball regularly and allowing him to do what he does best is necessary.

Get Ayoze Perez in the team

Ayoze Perez

Three goals in six games is certainly relegation form, with the personnel in the final third needing to be examined.

Although Papiss Cisse has shown in the past that he can be unplayable when in the mood and Aleksandar Mitrovic has a good goal record elsewhere but a questionable temperament, the fringe status of Ayoze Perez is somewhat confusing.

The 22-year-old Spaniard showed in the first half of last season under Alan Pardew that he can be a dangerous and reliable centre forward, but has only started two games this term.

Getting Perez back to his best could well give Newcastle the man they need to fire them out of trouble, with the former Tenerife man looking like the best option in attack for McClaren currently.