Newcastle look like they are ready to sack Steve McClaren.
Townsend said: “I don’t think Steve McClaren is the right fit for that club at the moment. Before they make that decision, Newcastle’s hierarchy - Lee Charnley, the owner, Graham Carr, whoever else is in charge there - they have to abandon some of their principles. They have to push some of their principles to one side to get the right man in. If you persist going down the wrong road, you are going to end up in a mess.”
They have won just six games out of 28 the season, and McClaren looks completely out of his depth as a top level.
He may be a talented coach, as is commonly referenced, but he lacks the ability to lead a team by himself, and the Tyneside club look ready to cut McClaren loose and bring in a new boss.
However, Mike Ashley has a reputation for appointing bad managers, and Townsend has urged the owner to alter his usual preferences for the benefit of the club.
Ashley needs to look past any prejudices and principles that he has, and hire the best man for the job, rather than someone who he knows will buy into his vision for Newcastle.
Sacking McClaren would seem to be the only option Newcastle can make if they want to stay up, and the pressure is on Ashley to bring the right man to St James’ Park.