Sky Sports reporter Michael Bridge thinks Eddie Howe faces a significant challenge at Newcastle United as he tries to keep the North-East club in the Premier League this season.
Howe was officially confirmed as the new Magpies boss last week, and Bridge is expecting him to endure a testing period at St James' Park.
How have Newcastle fared this season?
It has been a dreadful start to the season on the pitch for Newcastle. Under Steve Bruce, the side failed to win any of their opening eight league matches, and were eliminated from the Carabao Cup by Burnley on penalties.
Their fortunes did not improve a great deal with interim manager Graeme Jones at the helm either, as they picked up two points from three matches.
Newcastle are currently sat on five points after 11 matches, which leaves them five points adrift of safety.
What has Bridge said about the task facing Howe?
Off the pitch, Newcastle's takeover did go through last month, and they now have the wealthiest owners in world football.
However, Bridge has pointed out that the club cannot spend that money until January, and has admitted that he is not convinced by the current players at Howe's disposal.
Speaking to GIVEMESPORT, he said: “I think Eddie Howe’s got such a big job on his hands. And I know the money they’ve got now, but I think that’s only going to come into effect, an advantage for them when they get the opportunity to spend it.
“At the moment, Eddie Howe has got probably the 19th-best squad in the Premier League; hence their position.”
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Can Howe pick up points between now and January?
It seems that Newcastle will look to spend a significant amount of money in January to stave off the threat of relegation, although it has been claimed that other English clubs may be reluctant to sell to Newcastle in the next transfer window.
It remains to be seen whether this will be the case, but for now, the focus must be on picking up points over the coming weeks, or they may leave themselves too much to do in the second half of the campaign.
December appears to be a tricky month on paper for Newcastle, as they will be taking on four of last season's top five in the space of just 15 days.
They do have some more winnable games, though. Straight after the international break, they will be hosting Brentford, and they also have upcoming clashes with two fellow relegation contenders in the shape of Norwich and Burnley.
If they can win these matches, they should keep within touching distance of the sides above them, and then they can look to kick on with fresh faces at the club from January onwards.
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