Inter's defender Coco a target for frantic Souness

Click to follow
The Independent Football

Souness is frantically searching for at least four more signings ahead of Newcastle's Premiership kick-off against Arsenal in 10 days' time. And while a new striker remains his priority, the blundering Intertoto Cup semi-final defeat to Deportivo La Coruña focused the manager's mind on other areas in which he needs to strengthen.

Robbie Elliott - assuming the left-back role from the injured and off-form Celestine Babayaro - produced a woeful back-pass which let in Pedro Munitis for the goal which effectively killed the contest two minutes into the second half.

Souness has seen seven first-team players leave a squad which he considered too thin this summer - with only three big names brought in to replace them. Souness admitted: "We will have to wait and see what happens over the next few games but the chairman is as aware as anybody that we need to strengthen."

But Souness could take some solace in the performances of two of his new boys, Emre Belozoglu and Scott Parker, who combined well in midfield on their respective debuts.

Emre in particular impressed and the Turkey international - a former Inter team-mate of Coco - insisted afterwards his new team-mates hide their disappointment over Europe and concentrate on the imminent Premiership campaign.

Emre said: "I think from now on the most important thing is the Premier League. I was happy to get 90 minutes but it was tough as it is the first time for two months that I have had a game."