Five under-performing Newcastle players who need to step up, including Moussa Sissoko and Ryan Taylor

St James Park

Newcastle United lost their eighth straight game against Leicester City and are now in danger of relegation. Here are five players who need to step up their game.

1) Moussa Sissoko

Sissoko is a regular France international but has not played anywhere near what he is capable of all season. His physique should mean he is a dominant presence in midfield but he is not having any impact on games. He has won just 41% of his 50/50 duels this season which is not good enough whilst he has contributed just three goals and two assists in 31 appearances.

2) Fabricio Coloccini

Having just returned from injury, Coloccini can be given some slack but his performances have been lazy, not one of the inspirational captain we know he can be. The 33-year-old is struggling for form at the wrong time and his weak challenge on Wes Morgan before the second goal at Leicester was worrying to say the least.

3) Ryan Taylor

It was great to see Taylor return from a long-term knee injury earlier this season but, in all honesty, he is completely out of his depth at this level. He is far too inconsistent and unreliable in possession. Even his set-pieces, which are normally where he comes into his own, are not producing many chances on goal.

4) Emmanuel Riviere

The transfer of Riviere to St James’ Park has been a disaster from start to finish. The former Monaco striker is not good enough to lead the line in a relegation battle, having failed to score in 20 appearances, with 32% of his shots going on target. Top scorer Papiss Cisse’s return from suspension cannot come soon enough.

5) Jack Colback

This may seem harsh because Colback has been Newcastle’s best player this season but the midfielder needs to return to his best form soon in order to help his struggling side get out of relegation danger. Despite impressing, Colback has made five defensive errors this season, something which he has to cut out of his game quickly.

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