Former Magpies midfielder Lee criticises his old club but nevertheless tips them to avoid the drop.
Former Newcastle United midfielder Rob Lee has criticised the club's "awful" performance in Saturday's 5-1 defeat to Chelsea, but he told the Press Association that he still expects them to secure Premier League survival this season.
The Magpies are in the top flight relegation zone on goal difference after three goals in the opening 17 minutes consigned them to a damaging loss at Stamford Bridge and a sixth successive away defeat.
However, the North East club are unbeaten in their last three home matches, and Lee is adamant that his former employers have what it takes to escape the drop.
He told the Press Association, via Football365: "[Newcastle] shouldn’t be getting beaten like that, especially against Chelsea who are not exactly in the form of their lives. It was a poor result and a poor performance.”
"I’m not really worried. The performances have been awful but I just look at the other teams and I think there’s three worse than Newcastle.
"Villa are in all sorts of trouble. They look dead and buried. Norwich are dropping like a stone. Swansea I think are in trouble."
Former England international Lee played nearly 400 games for Newcastle in all competitions in 10 seasons at St. James' Park in the 1990s and early 2000s.
Meanwhile, Steve McClaren's side do not play again this month, with their next match coming in the form of a trip to Stoke City on 2 March.