NEWCASTLE legend Nikos Dabizas has advised his former club to target Premier League players with limited game time during the January transfer window.
The Magpies have found themselves in an intense relegation battle despite their recent £300million Saudi-led takeover as they have lost 10 and won just one out of 19 league matches.
The Toon are desperate for significant additions that will boost their hopes of survival with various forgotten men linked as targets, such as Tottenham's Dele Alli, Arsenal's Alexandre Lacazette as well as Manchester United's Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial.
And Dabizas, who spent five years at St James' Park following his arrival from Olympiacos in 1998, claims the new owners could give "high-level players" a new lease on life.
But the former defender insists Newcastle should approach the January market with caution so that they find the suitable candidates that can meet the club's demands instead of mercenaries who are after an easy pay day from the world's richest team.
Dabizas told SunSport: "All 20 teams have [talented] players that don’t get enough minutes and that might be something Newcastle can take advantage of.
“[The January transfer window] is always tough for every team. That is when you can only make additional moves, not a general restructure for years to come. They will have to make careful moves to achieve the main goal, which is to avoid relegation.
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"But under no circumstances will they be able to build a foundation in January because no one sells their best player mid-season and even if they do it won’t come cheap.
“The hierarchy and club need to find the suitable candidates so that they can gradually set the foundation that will allow them to become more competitive and climb through the ranks.
"What’s important for me is [the players’] motive. Surely the financial motive will come into play but if that’s the sole reason he chose Newcastle then he won’t be the right choice.
"For me, the appropriate mentality [is important] because Newcastle are a club with an intense, as well as loyal, crowd and the players they accept historically are the ones that identify and dedicate their soul for the team.
"If a player arrives just for an extra few zeroes on his contract then that won’t be healthy and [he] won’t elevate the squad. It needs to be an important combination of talent, personality, motive and character.”
Newcastle are also searching for a director of football after being rejected by top targer Michael Emenalo, who enjoyed tremendous success at Chelsea.
As a former technical director at Panathinaikos and Omonia, Dabizas insists this is a role the new administration needs to fill in "at all costs".
The ex-Leicester ace added: "This is a very important position with the same gravity as that of the manager. A manager faces so many demands that if he takes over everything then he is doomed to fail because he can’t do all that.
"The head coach needs to have very specific responsibilities and focus on how he will train the players and how he will win the upcoming match.
"If that role doesn’t exist, especially in a club that wants to develop in every aspect, then the weight will be enormous for the manager and that will distract him from his top priority, which is the next fixtures. This needs to be sorted at all costs.
"The ideal scenario would have been if the director suggested the manager to the powers at be so that the head coach is aware he is the director’s pick, which would create a solid relationship."
Dabizas admits that Newcastle are facing an uphill battle as they are second to last in the Premier League table.
However, the former Greece international is confident that if the new owners get it right on transfers and the new arrivals raise the bar then survival "is not impossible".
Dabizas said: "The stats certainly show that a team that has only won one out of 19 matches usually gets relegated. But this is a team with a completely different administration, totally different financial data, new manager and a strong dynamic.
"These factors have flipped the script. If the January transfers are careful and they raise the bar in the most crucial areas then survival is not impossible."
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