Steve Bruce should be getting 'more' out of his Newcastle United squad as pressure increases on the head coach ahead of Saturday's game against Aston Villa.
With United on a winless run of nine games, Bruce has faced criticism over his tactics and approach to games and the trip to Villa Park - with his former team gunning for Europe - means his task doesn't get any easy.
The Magpies are seven points above the relegation zone, lying 15th in the table, but speaking on The Everything is Black and White Podcast, our chief sports writer Lee Ryder feels Bruce should be doing better.
"I've heard a few people outside the North East say 'where do you expect Newcastle to be given what we've spent?'
"For me, I think probably 11th 12th place. I know that's not where we all dream of Newcastle to be but that's where they probably should be given how much they've spent.
"I do think they can get a lot more with this squad. Callum Wilson, Ryan Fraser, they had good reports at Bournemouth, and people like Jonjo Shelvey are much better than they are showing at the minute.
"We've seen Jamal Lascelles have better games than of late, Ciaran Clark' s doing OK but we know that this defence has probably got another couple of seasons in them.
"If they can get this thing back on track quickly then I do think that they've got good players and they are better than this.
"You don't like to say it at all about teams who are involved in the relegation fight because no team is too good to go down, but if this team did go down, then you have to say they would have underachieved massively this season.
"I would say 10th 11th 12th, that's where we should expect Newcastle to be with what they've got."
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But with the team struggling, lacking threat and shipping goals, is Bruce the man to turn it around?
" Rafa Benitez, he couldn't finish any higher than 10th when the scraped into 10th on goal difference," added Lee.
"Look at Steve Bruce's own personal best - the highest he's finished in the table might be in the top 10 with Sunderland but at the end of the day, I think Steve Bruce this season if he did finish middle of the table, he'd be happy for all he was talking about potentially going higher.
"So is he the best man for the job? At the minute it doesn't look like it because the players aren't really doing it for them but there have been other problems with injuries and COVID.
"Allan Saint-Maximum hasn't played for two months.
"They're not at full strength [but when they are] he's going to have to get a lot more out of them."