Steve McClaren says a dearth of clinical finishing means Newcastle’s performances are not being rewarded with befitting results.
Successive victories over Liverpool and Tottenham last month appeared to be evidence that the Magpies’ fortunes were turning around this season.
However, four consecutive 1-0 defeats over the festive period have seen the club slip back into the relegation zone, two points from safety.
“Everybody who’s watched us recently, we’ve controlled games and normally you win those. It’s unfortunate but we have to solve it,” manager McClaren said.
“We’ve been in every game and had a chance of winning them all. But we’ve not taken our opportunities. It’s a fine line.”
Newcastle are set to be boosted by the arrival of Bordeaux forward Henri Saivet, who is close to completing a €6million move to St James’ Park, and is currently undergoing a medical at the club.
“We are just waiting for the outcome really,” McClaren added.
“I think everybody would say in January we need to strengthen and we’d like to strengthen. We will have to wait and see. We are doing our business quietly and privately. With this one with Henri we will wait until it’s done before we comment.
“We are at a sensitive stage where we are going through a medical and negotiating a contract. I’ve seen these deals fall through and everybody has egg on their face. People can get left upset but all I can say is he’s in the building.
“When it’s all done and signed we will talk about his assets and what he will bring to the team.”
Saivet is unlikely to sign in time to face Manchester United on Tuesday night.
Magpies captain Fabricio Coloccini will face a late fitness test but midfielder Jack Colback could return after taking part in training on Monday.