Steve Bruce believes Newcastle United have to take a 'risk' by changing formation and tweaking players' roles to start scoring again - despite Rafa Benitez's previous concerns about the 'short blanket'.
The Magpies' head coach, who only took charge 25 days before the season started, initially set his side up in a 3-5-2 formation but felt the players could not play the way he envisaged after the defeat against Norwich in August.
Since then, Newcastle have generally sat deep, soaking up pressure before attempting to catch teams on the counter-attack, but the black-and-whites have won just one of their last nine league games and have not scored in the top-flight since January 21.
Bruce previously believed his side were not ready to change - suffering heavy defeats against Leicester City and Arsenal after shifting to a back four - but now feels he has to try something different ahead of the visit of in-form Burnley to St James' Park.
"It's not new in the Premier League to have a change of formation and it's something which you obviously work on so it's making sure that the players understand what their roles are if you do change," he told reporters.
"How often have we seen it? We have seen Man U change from a back three to a back four in a week. You see the master one [Pep Guardiola]. We're all scratching our head thinking, 'Wow, he's left out [Sergio] Aguero and Raheem Sterling at the really top level to play [Kevin] De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva in a different formation as a false No 9'.
"It's not new but I do believe we need to have the ability to change and understand the roles that's within that. The way we've played has been nothing new. The difficulty has always been scoring a goal. Even last year I believe it was a problem early on in the first half of the season so it is the hardest part of the Premier League to create so the ability to change I think is important."
In an ideal world, particularly at home, Bruce would love for Newcastle to be up and at teams and to press high up the pitch but he previously believed it could take up to six transfer windows for that to happen.
However, given his team's struggles, the Newcastle head coach looks set to play with four at the back and two up top against Burnley and hopes his players 'grasp it' given how they have previously played with a back four at various points in their careers.
"When I walked through the door, it was the way they were used to and I didn't want to change because they had a degree of success in the second half of the season if that's what you want to call it," he said.
"But I think I've said from day one - that's not the way I want to play. However, I've just tried to not make too drastic a change. I do believe at the moment that we have to score.
"Where we have always been a threat on the counter-attack, for whatever reason, that's waned over the last few weeks. We haven't caused enough teams enough problems. In the past, we have done .We have been able to cause a few teams problems on the counter-attack."
Benitez repeatedly referred to the 'short blanket' when discussing the balance between defence and attack during his time as Newcastle manager.
As far as Benitez was concerned, the blanket could not keep both his head and feet warm - one area of the pitch would suffer if he tried to address another - but Bruce feels he has to gamble.
"I believe we have to go win and we have to score a goal to win," he added. "That's the way I see it. Yes, we all know the quote - if you pull the short blanket up, you leave yourself exposed at the back - I understand that but sometimes you have to take a risk."