Newcastle boss Alan Pardew fears being without key midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa when his side seek to halt a miserable run of form against a similarly smarting Manchester City.
The winger provided rare attacking spark and a goal in Monday's 2-1 defeat at Fulham but is in danger of sitting out Saturday's visit of the champions with a recurrence of his hamstring problem.
Pardew is already missing the influence of Yohan Cabaye in midfield and admitted he hopes owner Mike Ashley will fund January reinforcements for a side that qualified for Europe last season but languish in 14th spot this term.
"(City) can call on five, six or seven top, top, international flair players and we probably have three, so we are on a knife edge when they are fit and when they are not fit," Pardew said.
"For this game we have a bit of a concern over Hatem and whether he will be available. His hamstring has a little bit of a problem and we're still trying to get to the bottom of that.
"On our side we look weak with the injuries we have sustained and we may need to bring in a player or two. We are in the market, as I'm sure a few other clubs will be.
"Mike has been very supportive and I want to look him in the eye with great results under my belt, but at the minute I can't. I'm looking at him in the eye
and I've got tricky results.
"He understands that and has been very supportive and now we look to the window hopefully and we may need some assistance in that but we will see.
"It would be nice to get one or two back, Steven Taylor and Yohan Cabaye around our first team, and hopefully bring one or maybe two players in the window if we can.
"We're a good side that is under-performing and there are reasons for that but we can't accept that. We have to work and we are working as hard as we can to turn the situation in our favour."
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