This is why Newcastle United didn't sign a striker in the transfer window
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The club opted not to strengthen up front in last month’s transfer window – despite a chronic late of goals.
Bruce’s side, beaten 1-0 by Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park yesterday, haven’t scored in the three Premier League games since the window closed, and Andy Carroll remains sidelined with a hip injury.
Away fans at the game chanted “attack, attack, attack”, and there was a backlash to the defeat on Tyneside from supporters concerned that the shot-shy team is facing a relegation battle.
Bruce – who had been hit by injuries to key players this season – claimed that there weren’t any players available better than what he already had at United once the window closed.
Asked about the decision not to sign a striker, Bruce said: “You can’t just say we sign a striker, because a lot of clubs were in the same situation.
“I said many, many times there wasn’t anybody out there who would have made us any better. So what’s the point? Yes, we had injuries, and we hope can get a few back.
“Dwight (Gayle) hasn’t been available all season, which has been a bit of a blow to us. We’ve got to February, and he hasn’t kicked a ball. Let’s hope he stays injury-free, because he’s an alternative to what we’ve got.”
Gayle, back from a hamstring injury, came off the bench at Selhurst Park, where Joelinton – whose only league goal came in August – again started.
“You know the (injury) problems we’ve had – we haven’t hid away from that – but we’re getting a few back,” said Bruce.
“Strikers need a bit of service too. We don’t cross it enough. I thought Tino (Valentino Lazaro) was arguably our best player. We ignored him too much when the simple thing was to give it to him to put it in the box.”
Bruce, meanwhile, pledged to “try something different” after the Palace defeat.
Newcastle take on Burnley at St James’s Park on Saturday.