Newcastle manager Chris Hughton has warned striker Andy Carroll he is not guaranteed to win back his place in the Magpies' line-up.
The homegrown frontman claimed the headlines with a hat-trick against Aston Villa in the second game of the Barclays Premier League season and was tipped to break into Fabio Capello's England squad.
He followed that up with an equaliser against Wolves but has not scored in four appearances since and was left on the bench for Sunday's defeat at Manchester City as Shola Ameobi was rewarded for his Carling Cup brace against Chelsea.
Hughton told the Daily Mirror: "What I have to do is pick players who are going to win a game for Newcastle United. Andy had a touch of a virus last week and if you look at his last performance, he had perhaps lost that edge.
"Shola Ameobi had done well at Chelsea and is pushing him hard. That's the competition we have and Shola started against Manchester City.
"Andy is a massive part of this club, but we have to have competition in all areas.
"These are the things we see week-in, week-out."