SIEM DE JONG has admitted it will take time for Newcastle United’s summer arrivals to successfully blend together to form a cohesive team.
The Magpies signed new nine players this summer, and while two – Jamal Lascelles and Karl Darlow – were immediately loaned back to Nottingham Forest, the side that drew 3-3 with Crystal Palace last weekend still contained five players who only arrived on Tyneside in the last two months.
Given that Newcastle are still looking for their first Premier League victory of the new campaign, it is safe to say that Alan Pardew is still searching for the right blend, especially in attack where two of the side’s three league goals have come from defenders.
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De Jong was one of the first new signings to arrive on Tyneside this summer, and the Dutchman has called for patience as the club’s new players become accustomed to their surroundings.
"It's always a little difficult at the start of the season when you fit in new players,” said de Jong, who is hoping to win back a place in the Holland squad during his time on Tyneside, having made his last international appearance in March 2013.
"You have to get used to each other, and hopefully we can get better in the coming weeks. Manu (Riviere) and (Remy) Cabella are new, and need a little bit of time.
“I think you saw in the friendly games that we still have to adapt to each other a little bit and get to know each other a little better. Friendly games are different to the Premier League, of course, but I think we have players who can score.”
While Newcastle broke their seasonal scoring duck last weekend, teenager Rolando Aarons is the only attacking player to have found the back of the net during the current campaign.
The club’s failure to recruit another centre-forward ahead of Monday’s transfer deadline has set alarm bells ringing, but de Jong insists it would be wrong to get too fixated on a lack of goals from the attacking positions just yet.
“We shouldn’t be talking about it all the time,” he said. “If you talk about not scoring all the time, it gets into your head.
“Everybody wants to score – especially the attacking players. But we shouldn’t worry about that too much.”
Young defender Remi Streete returned to action yesterday as Newcastle’s development side cruised to a comfortable victory over Hartlepool United at Darsley Park.
Goals from Tom Heardman (2), Jonathyn Quinn, Callum Roberts and Dan Barlaser gave Newcastle a 5-1 win.
* De Jong was speaking at a Newcastle United Foundation event at the Discovery Museum’s Toon Times Exhibition.