'No guarantees' - Newcastle board on January signings

Newcastle board members have suggested that they may not be looking to strengthen the playing squad in January.

The Magpies avoided entering the record books last weekend, when their 1-0 victory over Leicester prevented them from registering the worst ever start to a Premier League season.

Despite signing nine players over the summer, Alan Pardew has failed to work around injury and bad form to set his team up for a promising season, and the club confirmed last week that they are scouting potential transfer targets to arrive in January.

Leading scorer Papiss Cisse is set to miss a month of action in the new year due to the African Cup of Nations, and, with summer arrival Siem De Jong out of action through a long-term injury, the club could start 2015 without a recognised goalscorer in their squad - leading to interest in FC Twente forward Luc Castaignos.

However, at this week’s Fans Forum, board members confirmed that no guarantees could be made concerning any January arrivals, having spent a large outlay on players over the summer.

Club representatives said: “It was stated that the club had brought in nine players in the previous window in order to take the team forward and that additional attacking players had been pursued.

“The club are continuing to look at potential targets but stressed no guarantee could be made in reference to January.”

When asked if the club was in better shape than last season, with a stronger playing squad, they responded: “The club’s view is that the squad is ultimately different [from last season].

“The club continues to assess its playing squad and any areas in which it feels it needs to strengthen.”

Considering the negativity surrounding St James’ Park in recent weeks, it is a surprise to see the club refusing to accept that strengthening needs to take place if the Magpies intend to have a successful season. Whilst it would be unwise to make promises that cannot be kept in the January transfer window, the knowledge that the club are actively in the market for players would abate the cries of discontent that have risen through the poor start to the current Premier League season.

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