JOHN Carver is weighing up a recall for Newcastle United striker Emmanuel Riviere – despite his lack of goals.
Carver is looking to change his formation to stem a run of six successive defeats which has left his team in a relegation battle.
My job to find a solution – to find a way of playing – where I can get maybe two strikers on the pitch.John Carver
And that points to a recall for Riviere, who is yet to score a Premier League goal for the club.
Newcastle – who take on Swansea City at home on Saturday – have struggled in the final third of the pitch without suspended top scorer Papiss Demba Cisse, who still has two games of a seven-match ban to serve.
Head coach Carver has also talked about a more “direct” approach in the final six games of the season.
“My job is to find a solution – to find a way of playing – where I can get maybe two strikers on the pitch,” said Carver, who has been fielding Ayoze Perez up front.
“The only way you can win games is by scoring goals.”
Riviere, signed from Monaco last summer, has been unconvincing in the league so far for 14th-placed Newcastle, though he did score two Capital One Cup goals against Crystal Palace earlier this season.
Many fans would like to see Carver instead turn to teenage forward Adam Armstrong, who scored both goals in the Under-21s’ 2-1 win over Aston Villa on Monday night.
Carver, however, claimed last week that Armstrong was not quite ready for the Premier League, and added that the 18-year-old would be used “sparingly” in the club’s remaining games.
Fit-again Siem de Jong played 72 minutes at Villa Park, but the forward – who had surgery after suffering a collapsed lung in February – is still short of match fitness and is unlikely to be considered for a start against Swansea.
Asked if he would be involved against Garry Monk’s side, De Jong said: “I think the plan always was to be on the bench.
“Hopefully, I can be part of the team, but I don’t think I can play 90 minutes yet. We have to build it up.”
On-loan striker Facundo Ferreyra, yet to play a competitive senior game for the club nine months after joining from Shakhtar Donetsk, also won praise from football development manager Peter Beardsley.
“Arma got two brilliant goals, and it was a great flick around the corner by Siem for the second one, and a great finish,” he said.
“I thought Siem was fantastic with his understanding of the game and his awareness. Him, Chucky (Ferreyra) and Arma as a three were fantastic.”
United are seven points above third-from-bottom Leicester City, but three of the teams below them in the league, including Sunderland, have a game in hand.