The gloom at Newcastle looks set to deepen with the news striker Shola Ameobi faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines with a fractured cheekbone.
The Magpies are still coming to terms with the departure of Andy Carroll, and with no replacement brought in Ameobi was seen as the man to fill those considerable boots.
But just 13 minutes in to the 1-0 defeat at Fulham, manager Alan Pardew saw him come off with a head injury. A thorough assessment will be carried out on Thursday but the indications are not positive.
"The diagnosis on Shola is not good," Pardew said. "He has a dent in his cheekbone which suggests a fracture."
"The strikers were not as good as they have been," he said. "Young Nile Ranger has got a lot to learn and Leon Best did not have a good night.
"Maybe there's some added pressure on them. They're going to have to deal with it. It's fair to say it will be a steep learning curve."