Steve Howey explains how long Newcastle must wait before making McClaren decision

Steve Howey says he feels sorry for Newcastle manager Steve McClaren.

Former Newcastle United defender Steve Howey has told BBC Sport that the Magpies must wait until at least Christmas before thinking about replacing Steve McClaren.

The Magpies are in turmoil right now, having taken just two points from their opening six games of the Premier League season, drawing twice and losing four games.

Then, matters were made even worse by a 1-0 defeat to Championship side Sheffield Wednesday in the Capital One Cup this week, piling more pressure on manager McClaren.

McClaren only took the Newcastle job this summer having left Derby County, and it was supposed to be the dawn of a new era on Tyneside after only narrowly avoiding relegation on the final day of the Premier League season last term - but instead, it seems that the more things change, the more they stay the same at St. James' Park.

Ahead of this weekend's clash with Premier League champions Chelsea, there are fans already calling for McClaren to be replaced in the Newcastle dugout - but former Magpies defender Steve Howey has asked for caution from supporters.

Speaking to BBC Sport, Howey says that Newcastle must wait until at least Christmas before even considering a move to replace McClaren - and added that he feels sorry for McClaren, before stating that recent performances simply haven't been good enough.

"I think it would be silly to be looking at a new manager now," said Howey. "Obviously, we've gone out and spent a lot of money, £50-odd million. His win percentage isn't great, but to have that knee-jerk reaction and look for a new manager is ridiculous at this point, we have to wait until at least Christmas."

"I do, in way, feel a little bit sorry for Steve, because I've got no doubt that him and his staff are doing everything that they possible can on the training pitch to get it right, working every hour God sends. But it is literally the old saying: he can do nothing once them players cross that white line, and unfortunately the performances that they've given are just not good enough," he added.

With upcoming fixtures against Chelsea and Manchester City, Newcastle face a tough couple of weeks - and whilst it seems unlikely that Mike Ashley would give up on McClaren so early, the Magpies manager certainly needs some results sooner rather than later before speculation over his future ramps up.

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