Five changes Newcastle must make against Reading

Newcastle United's Matt Ritchie and Huddersfield Town's Chris Lowe in action

Newcastle take on Reading this Wednesday, having lost their opening two Championship games.

Newcastle United's Matt Ritchie and Huddersfield Town's Chris Lowe in action

 Newcastle lost their second game of the season, falling to a 2-1 defeat at home to Huddersfield Town.

With no time to dwell on back-to-back losses, the Magpies return to action on Wednesday when they will host Jaap Stam's Reading.

Rafael Benitez's side are struggling to live up to their title as favourites so far, having been well beaten by both Fulham and Huddersfield.

Things aren't clicking on the pitch as of yet for Newcastle, and here are five problems they must address in time for their game against Reading.

Move the ball quicker

Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez

Newcastle's biggest problem on Saturday was their pedestrian passing.

The Magpies enjoyed long spells of possession, but the laboured attempts at stringing passes together was ineffective and easy for Huddersfield to defend against.

The tempo all afternoon was slow, and at no point did Newcastle turn it up a notch and really get at the Terriers' defence. If Benitez's team can move the ball quicker and get the opposition defence turned, then they may have more success going forward against Reading.

Don't play Vurnon Anita out wide

Manchester City's Sergio Aguero in action with Newcastle's Vurnon Anita

Another big issue for Newcastle was the lack of balance in the side.

Vurnon Anita is not a wide player and never will be. The nifty Dutchman has looked uncomfortable out on the flank, and offers no real threat going forward.

Especially when playing at home, Newcastle will need to take the game to the opposition, and that won't happen if they continue keep the shackles on and play a defensive midfielder on the wing.

Drop Dummett

Paul Dummett celebrates after scoring the third goal for Newcastle

Usually a solid performer for Newcastle, Dummett is struggling with life in the Championship.

The left back's biggest problem is his lack of ability on the ball, which was constantly exposed against Huddersfield. If the Magpies are to dominate possession, they need all of their outfield players to be comfortable with the ball at their feet, which Dummett is not.

Bringing in Jesus Gamez or dropping Anita to full back could be the solution.

Cut out the long balls

Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez

If Mitrovic was playing, then long balls would be fine. The target man would be able to jostle with the opposition and try and link up with his fellow attackers.

However, with the Serbian suspended, Newcastle have been playing Dwight Gayle up top on his own. Despite his size, long balls are constantly being knocked up to him and to no avail.

Newcastle need to play to their strengths. Gayle has pace and can run in behind defenders. If they can increase the tempo to their passing, gaps should appear in the opposition defence and create space for the 25-year-old to run in to.

Show some physicality

Huddersfield Town's Jack Payne celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates

If Newcastle are going to dominate this league and dominate games, they need to toughen up and show they wont be pushed around.

It is no secret that the Championship is a physical league. Newcastle need to somewhat embrace this, and start putting tackles in and roughening up their opponents. 

It isn't about being rough and bending the rules, but the Magpies sometimes need to be more cynical and do the dirty side of the game.

Reading will prove to be another tough game for Newcastle, and they could fall to another defeat if some major issues are not addressed.

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