STEVE BRUCE admits he is going to have to come up with increasingly imaginative ways of ensuring his Newcastle United side carry a goal threat if Miguel Almiron and Allan Saint-Maximin join Callum Wilson on the long-term absentee list.

Fulham’s goalless draw with Crystal Palace yesterday means Newcastle remain three points clear of the relegation zone with 12 games still to play in the wake of their 1-1 draw with Wolves on Saturday night.

Jamaal Lascelles’ header opened the scoring at St James’ Park, with Ruben Neves equalising for Wolves with a header of his own, but the Magpies’ point came at a cost with both Almiron and Saint-Maximin suffering injuries.

Almiron has picked up a knee problem while Saint-Maximin damaged his groin, and with Wilson not expected to return for three weeks at the earliest, Bruce accepts he is going to have be creative when it comes to remodelling his attack for Sunday’s trip to West Brom if his first-choice trio are all ruled out.

“We’re going to have to find a way if that (being without all three players) is the case,” said the Magpies boss. “We’re going to have to find a way.

"Our top goalscorer last year only scored six goals, but we managed to find a way of getting some results.

"It’s been pretty brutal to us in that respect, losing our big players, but we’ll have to get on with it, accept it and get on with the challenge.”

Almiron will have a scan today amid fears he has suffered a serious knee injury that could place a question mark over his involvement in the remainder of the season.

The Paraguayan appeared to injure his knee as he stretched to try to win possession in the first half of Saturday’s game, and while he soldiered on for another five minutes or so after a lengthy bout of treatment, he was in serious discomfort after leaving the field at the half-time break.

“The way he was at half-time told it all really,” said Bruce. “As I’ve said many times before with Almiron, he’s a wonderful pro but he was in distress with it.

“Let’s hope it’s not that bad. We’ll know more after scans (which were due to take place yesterday) – we’ll have scans fixed up to see how he is.

"It’s far too early to speculate about how serious the problem is.”

Saint-Maximin’s muscular problem is not believed to be as acute, but given that fellow Covid victims Lascelles and Federico Fernandez have both suffered lengthy lay-offs as a result of muscular issues suffered during their respective comebacks, the Frenchman is unlikely to be involved at the Hawthorns this weekend.