Newcastle manager Steve McClaren denies rift with under-performing striker Papiss Cisse

The frontman has been poor in recent defeats, prompting calls for him to be replaced.

Newcastle United boss Steve McClaren insists there has been no falling out between himself and Senegalese striker Papiss Cisse, in quotes published by the Chronicle.

The 30-year old disappointed against West Ham United on Monday and was hooked at half-time in Saturday’s home defeat to Watford, but McClaren insists there is no rift between the two of them.

“There’s no problem with Papiss. We just felt we had to change something,” he said.

“We felt we needed to add some type of pace and approach it a little differently. He was unfortunate. Papiss is here and he’s part of the squad. He’s a player who can score.

“He needs service for that and we had some crosses in the first half and some opportunities we’ll look at,” he added.

Calls for the misfiring striker to be dropped after Monday’s game were loud, yet the Newcastle gaffer persevered with him – a decision which failed to be vindicated.

The frontman was part of a Magpies team that put in a woeful collective performance, and didn’t deserve to take anything from the encounter.

Concerns are quickly mounting at St James' Park over the manner of recent defeats, and the club’s position at the foot of the Premier League table is already appearing ominous.

Their latest capitulation at the hands of the Hornets should prompt a reshuffling of the pack, with the likes of Ayoze Perez, Rolando Aarons and Siem de Jong in line for starting berths. 

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