Chancel Mbemba has given a very honest assessment of Newcastle United first five months of the season.

The DR Congo centre-back says that none of the summer signings expected the club to be where it finds itself now, with the season having been ‘a failure right from the very start’.

Newcastle’s player of the year so far in many people’s eyes, Chancel Mbemba is arguably the club’s only quality defender.

Daryl Janmaat has put in a number of decent or better performances but his strengths tend to be heading up the pitch, with his defending ok at best.

A lot of responsibility on Chancel Mbemba’s shoulders when he is only 21, he is somebody Newcastle could build their defence around for some years to come – with it being an absolute priority to bring in a quality left-back and another centre-back to play alongside him.

This season sees only Villa and Sunderland having conceded more than Newcastle’s 35 goals against column.

Mbemba says that the players are the ones who must take responsibility, as it is them and not the manager or supporters who go out on the pitch.

The young defender is one of the few players who is showing leadership in the squad and Newcastle desperately need others to step up and help, with possibly Chancel Mbemba’s partner Coloccini being the prime candidate, somebody who should give so much more as captain on and off the pitch.

Chancel Mbemba speaking to The Mirror:

“At the beginning of the season I did not expect the team to be in this position… I don’t think that any of the new players expected to be where we are.

“We had ambitions to be up in the top 10 at least but this season has been a failure right from the very start.

“The players are the ones who go onto the pitch and perform – it’s not the head coach or the fans who go out and play, it is us and we have to take all the responsibility, give 100% to make sure we turn this around.

“I cannot predict the future but what I can promise is that we are doing everything to get out of this position.

“We need to continue to work hard together, to get results and make the fans happy. We have to keep motivation high and work hard.”