Alan Pardew has warned Newcastle's fans not to expect ``champagne'' football against Swansea on Saturday as they attempt to grind out a precious victory.
The stylish, flowing game which characterised the Magpies' surge into the Barclays Premier League's top five last season was a distant memory on Sunday as Pardew's misfiring team slumped to a 1-0 home defeat by promoted West Ham.
The 51-year-old admitted he was at a loss to explain just why a team which oozed confidence and invention during the 2011-12 campaign is so laboured this time around.
He will settle for a victory however it comes as he and his players attempt to rediscover their spark.
Pardew said: ``We are all kind of looking at each other. We want to get firing, we want to score three or four goals and set the stadium alight.
``But it's not as simple as that, sometimes you have to graft your way through periods like this.
``I will be surprised if we go from West Ham to a real champagne performance. I think it will be something in-between - hopefully.''
Newcastle are still awaiting news of Papiss Cisse's situation with Senegal threatening to demand he does not play against the Swans.
The African nation's football federation claim they did not receive details of the back injury which prevented the striker joining up with them for their midweek friendly against Niger and could invoke FIFA's five-day rule, which would mean he is not available for the Barclays Premier League fixture.
Pardew is already without midfielders Yohan Cabaye (groin) and Jonas Gutierrez (knee), utility man James Perch (thigh) and suspended defender Fabricio Coloccini, but full-back Danny Simpson (shoulder) and frontman Demba Ba (shin) are available, as is midfielder Cheick Tiote after completing his three-match ban.
Danny Graham is backing Wayne Routledge to show Newcastle just what they are missing when he lines up against his ex-employers.
Winger Routledge has enjoyed a superb start to the season for the Swans, scoring two goals and causing chaos among opposition defences with his pace and trickery.
The 27-year-old has flourished under the stewardship of Michael Laudrup, and will hope to continue that form as he faces one of his former clubs. Routledge signed for Newcastle in January 2010, and was sold to Swansea barely 18 months later, having also spent five months on loan at QPR.
And striker Graham, a Magpies fan, knows how badly his team-mate will want to show the Tyneside supporters they did not see the best of him. Graham said: ``Wayne has been superb - he is probably in the best form of his career.
``He was always a tricky winger who could get assists and do well for the strikers, but he's added goals this season which has made him a real threat for us. Now he's going back up there (to Newcastle).
``I always joke to Wayne that he's lived my dream playing for Newcastle. We live in the same apartment block and always have a bit of banter about it.
``I'm sure he wants to go back and prove a point for himself. Newcastle wanted rid of him and he's had a superb season, so it's up to him to show them what they're missing out on.''
Laudrup is sweating on the fitness of several players ahead of the trip to Newcastle.
Midfielder Ki Sung-yueng misses out with a hamstring problem, while his preferred replacement Kemy Agustien is struggling with a toe injury.
Leon Britton also has a knock while winger Pablo Hernandez is nursing an ankle injury, although defender Chico Flores is set to return from a dead leg.
Should Agustien be unavailable, Laudrup may opt to move top scorer Michu back into midfield and hand Graham or Itay Shechter a start up front.