Former Blackburn Rovers star Tim Sherwood believes Eddie Howe is ‘the right man’ for Newcastle United - but warned the Magpies manager results will have to improve.
United sit in mid-table with the Premier League taking a back seat for the first international break of what will be a unique season.
Howe’s side have lost just one of their opening seven games of the campaign, but have a curious record of going without a win since their opening day victory over Nottingham Forest.
An agonising late loss at Liverpool is the only defeat on their record - but it is draws that have held back the Magpies after they could only take a point from meetings with Brighton and Hove Albion, Crystal Palace, Bournemouth and Manchester City.
The performance in the latter of those draws showed the sort of display Howe wants from his players as they matched the reigning Premier League champions during an intoxicating 3-3 draw at St James Park.
There has been no indication Howe is under any pressure from the United hierachy, but Sherwood - who was sacked at Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa during his managerial career - insisted Newcastle need to start winning ‘as soon as possible’ to ensure the former Bournemouth boss gets some ‘breathing space’ in the role.
He told Premier League Productions: “The performances have been okay - but it boils down to getting points on the board and getting breathing space for a manager who, if he continues, will be under pressure.
“I think he’s a good manager. He did brilliantly last season. But you know the expectations up in Newcastle now. The fans will tell you and the board expect a lot more.
“It’s a disjointed season (with the World Cup in the middle), but they need to start winning football matches as soon as possible.
“The perception is that they are doing a lot better than they actually are. Results don’t look like that. They have a lot of hard work to do, but I am sure Eddie is the right man to get them on track.”
Newcastle return to Premier League action next Saturday afternoon when they visit Fulham.