Steve Bruce needs to be more aggressive with his gameplan at Newcastle United.
That is the view of Alan Hutton, who played under Bruce at Aston Villa, as he suggested the Magpies boss' tactics, while in charge of the Villans in the 2018 Championship play-off final against Fulham, cost them.
Bruce has come under fire recently as Newcastle have gone nine matches without a win in all competitions.
The Magpies boss has brushed off criticism of his 'negative' style of play this season but United are near the bottom of the Premier League standings for almost every performance metric.
And the results are now matching the grim statistics with the frustration among the fanbase coming to a head in the wake of last week's 1-0 win defeat to rock bottom Sheffield United.
Bruce's team selection smacked of a manager who was trying not to lose and was worried about the opposition more than his side's strengths.
That brought back memories of Villa's painful play-off final defeat under Bruce in 2018 for Hutton and the former Rangers defender understands why Newcastle fans have been left frustrated this season.
“They [the players] need to believe, first and foremost, and especially in what the manager is saying and what he’s working on the pitch,” Hutton told Football Insider.
“I understand that the fans get annoyed because he can play very defensively. He likes to play defence and be solid and sound and then move forward but the problem with that is you’ve got too many players defending.
“I’ll go back to when Steve Bruce was in charge of Aston Villa, when we played Fulham in the play-off final, we were more worried about Fulham.
“It wasn’t until the second half, where he said: ‘Right, let’s go for it, we need a goal,’ and we were so much better, the better team.
“Sometimes I feel that he maybe needs to be more aggressive going forward and the defensive side of it so it’s about getting that balance.
“Give it your all, go and try to play attacking football, change the formation. Get your wingers on the pitch, your attackers on who can score you a goal and make things happen.”