Kevin Phillips says the Newcastle defence isn’t good enough for the Premier League and claims they’re “draining life” from the attacking players.
Steve Bruce’s side are yet to win a Premier League game this season and sit second bottom of the table following their 2-1 defeat to Wolves on Saturday.
They have won just three points from their opening seven games of the season and no team has conceded more.
Javier Manquillo, Ciaran Clark, Federico Fernandez and Matt Ritchie made up their back four at Molineux and Phillips claims it’s no surprise they have failed to keep a clean sheet this season.
The former Sunderland striker says it’s an area the club must look to improve in January if they are to avoid relegation this season.
“It’s not good enough,” the former Sunderland striker told Football Insider.
“I look at that back four and I think, is that a Premier League back four? It’s not for me.
“It’s a back four which will continually concede chances in my opinion so I’m not surprised to see that they still haven’t kept a clean sheet this season.
“I play golf with a Newcastle supporter and he’s frustrated. The place is low at the moment. Confidence isn’t high.
“The amount of goals they are conceding is worrying. You cannot keep conceding goals at that level because it drains the life out of you. It puts too much pressure on the forward players.
“It is a tough one for Steve Bruce. They need to go into the market in January and strengthen their defence because it does not look good at the moment.
The pressure continues to mount on Bruce after a tough start to the season, with fans consistently voicing their displeasure at his management and Mike Ashley’s ownership of the club.
Newcastle host Tottenham after the two-week international break, before facing Crystal Palace, Chelsea and Brighton in a vital run of fixtures for Bruce and the club.