McClaren admits interest in forming Cisse and Mitrovic strike partnership

Steve McClaren

Goalscoring has been a big issue for Newcastle this season.

Newcastle have been struggling in the final third this season, and Steve McClaren has admitted to the Chronicle that he wants to see a strike partnership of Aleksandar Mitrovic and Papiss Cisse taking to the field.

McClaren said: “The plus for me has been seeing Mitrovic and Ayo [Ayoze Perez] link up well, but also having Papiss there. We did talk about at the beginning about Papiss and Mitrovic together, I’d like to see them together.”

Considering the struggles that Newcastle’s strikers have been having, utilising two forwards could be the key way for McClaren to fix the side who have scored just six goals in eight games.

However, if McClaren wants to name both forwards, he will have to change tactical system, having utilised a 4-2-3-1 this season.

Mitrovic has led the line as the lone forward, with Perez often playing just off him as the number 10, but if Cisse is to be included he will have to take up a forward’s role - alongside Mitrovic.

McClaren will have to change to a system with two out and out strikers, which, although it would likely improve the attacking output of the side, would create defensive issues due to the lack of control you would have in midfield due to fielding fewer players in the middle of the park.

However, that lack of control is a risk worth taking considering how poor the Magpies have been in the final third this season.

They have only managed an average of 8.4 shots per game - the lowest in the Premier League - whilst their average possession of 43.8% is fairly low as well, meaning it is pointless to try playing a dominating style of play anyway.

McClaren needs to change something with his squad if he is to get out of the rut Newcastle are in, and playing a more attacking style with a strike partnership of Cisse and Mitrovic could be the tactical change which kickstarts the Magpies’ season.

Register for NEWCASTLE UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch