While recent off-field distractions have papered over Newcastle United’s disappointing Premier League season, their 16th-place finish exposed a few home truths.
With the prospect of relegation to the Championship banished with just one game remaining, the sense of relief was swiftly supplanted by an inquest into the Magpies’ failings.
Fingers were pointed in the direction of some of the club’s biggest names as well as manager Alan Pardew. But before answers were fathomed, the spotlight switched to Joe Kinnear’s puzzling appointment as director of football.
Now, with the first game of the new season at Manchester City just seven weeks away, efforts to galvanise the squad are seemingly underway, with a new striker high on their list of priorities according to The Evening Chronicle.
And with much still to ponder following their brush with the drop, we take a look at five areas on the field of play that require improvement if Newcastle are to avoid another anxious campaign.