Newcastle United are in their worst slump of form since 2015 after recording their SIXTH straight defeat in the Premier League.

Only then, the Magpies were playing with a depleted squad and forced to play Jack Colback and Jonas Gutierrez in defence due to the lack of numbers as John Carver steered Newcastle to safety on the final day of the season.

We aren't quite in a Survival Sunday scenario like that West Ham win six years ago, which ironically relegated Steve Bruce's Hull City, but there are only 18 games left to play this season and there are trips to Liverpool, Manchester United, Leicester City, Everton and Chelsea as part of that batch of games.

Bruce still hasn't hit the same eight-game losing streak as United did in 2015 nor has he reached the 10-game mark without a win like Rafa Benitez did in the Premier League in 2018.

But with the Toffees away next and then a home game with Crystal Palace he is in danger of emulating something similar to those who came before him.

Graeme Jones watches on from the stands but has his work cut out to change things

The former Belgium, Wigan, Swansea and Everton coach is set to start his new role in the next couple of days as he looks to get on to the training pitches at Benton with his new colleagues.

Jones has plenty to work with in terms of attacking talent with Ryan Fraser, Allan Saint-Maximin and Callum Wilson the obvious men to get Newcastle away from danger.

But whether he can put an arm around players like Joelinton and Dwight Gayle and get them fit and firing again remains to be seen.

Certainly, a change in voice might benefit some players.

Newcastle boss Steve Bruce says he is yet to play his best team

Saint-Maximin's absence would rock many teams but the winger is back from the Covid list after a seven-week absence on the field.

He instantly made a difference against Leeds after coming off the bench and Bruce claims he has been unable to name what he deems as his best X1.

Presumably, that contains Saint-Maximin and Ryan Fraser but with Fede Fernandez and Ciaran Clark on the sidelines there are others to add.

Bruce said afterwards: "I knew playing the strongest XI, I knew we'd be okay.

"We've been without our best players and simply, we can't afford to be, especially at the top end of the pitch in the Premier League.

"That's where they come alive, so I'm pleased for the player they've produced a performance and something to build on."