Newcastle boss Chris Hughton has warned Andy Carroll that he faces a fight to win back his place in the starting line-up.
Carroll started the season in impressive fashion after scoring four goals in his first three Premier League appearances.
The 21-year-old striker was rumoured to be close to a first England call-up but has drawn a blank on his last four appearances.
Carroll was relegated to the bench for Sunday's 2-1 defeat at Manchester City with Shola Ameobi preferred and Hughton has warned his top-scorer that he will have to work hard to win back his place.
"What I have to do is pick players who are going to win a game for Newcastle United," Hughton told the Daily Mirror.
"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 (in the Carling Cup) 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."