Moussa Sissoko has suggested that Newcastle's habit of starting games slowly has been a major reason for their struggles their season, and must be something that they rectify if they hope to stay up this season, the Chronicle reports.
Rafael Benitez's men are currently second-bottom in the Premier League, six points adrift of safety with six games to go. And the enterprising midfielder suggested that it was their inability to hit the ground running in games that has led to them playing catch-up in the final weeks of the campaign.
"We have played a lot of games this season where we haven't started very well," he told the Chronicle.
"Then we react later. It's a bad thing.
"We have to be good from the beginning and score first, then the game can be different."
Since the start of January, the Magpies have conceded four times in the first 10 minutes of matches - including two in the 5-1 defeat to Chelsea in February - and have let in 12 goals in the first-half of games in total.
And while their performance against Manchester United in January proved that they do have the fighting spirit in them to recover from a poor start - as they earned a 3-3 draw after Red Devils had taken a 2-0 lead - it appears that more recently, conceding the first goal has ended the side's hopes of getting anything from a game.
The last time Newcastle took the lead in a match came in their win over West Brom at the start of February. Since that game against the Baggies, they have conceded first every time and have secured just one point from a possible 21.