Rob Lee has reacted to news of Steve McClaren’s departure, claiming that it was inevitable and should have happened sooner.

The Newcastle legend says that he feels ‘unfortunate’ to have been at the Bournemouth match, when he saw with his own eyes just how terrible Newcastle are.

Lee says that the Newcastle job will be the toughest test that Rafa Benitez has had in his career AND he has to keep them in the Premier League with only the failing players he has inherited.

The former Newcastle midfielder says that the next three matches could determine whether United stay up or not; with top of the table Leicester away, followed by relegation six pointers against Sunderland (home) and Norwich (away).

Just like so many other fans, Rob Lee thinks the club needs change from ‘top to bottom’ and at least a start has been made today with Rafa Benitez and his backroom staff arriving.

Ideally it would be Mike Ashley walking out of the door at the end of the season but the next best thing is that in the summer, the owner clears out Charnley, Carr and the likes of Beardsley and Watson in the failing Academy/Development set-up.

Rob Lee speaking on Sky Sports:

‘We knew it (McClaren sacking) was inevitable really, it’s a shame it has taken so long

I was unfortunate enough to be at the game live at Bournemouth and I saw for my own eyes how bad it was for Newcastle, the team seems to lack any sort of fight and spirit bar a couple of players, after that game I thought the writing was on the wall.

If Steve McClaren can’t get these players up for the games, for this fight, somebody else has got to come in and try and do that.

This will be his (Rafa Benitez) toughest test, he can’t bring in any players, he has got the players that he has got and he has to try and use his motivational skills, his managerial skills, to get these players to start playing well and winning games that they haven’t been able to do – they are certainly lacking in confidence, they are lacking in any fight and any spirit.

It will be a really really tough job; the next three games are Leicester away, the big derby against Sunderland and then Norwich away, the next three games could determine whether Newcastle stay up or go down anyway.

rob lee

His pedigree is unquestionable and he has been at some huge clubs, he’s got Premier League experience but he had top players there (Liverpool and Chelsea).

It will be a great coup for Newcastle to get him (Benitez) but they will have to change some policies.

I think the club from top to bottom needs to change, I think they need some people like Rafa Benitez, who are football people, who know how to run a club from the youth team all the way up to the 21’s, right up to the first team, as well as the scouting system.

It is no good Newcastle putting in place these managers or coaches and then they have a policy where their hands are tied and what players they bring in and how old they are and what they pay for them and sell on clauses.

This will be his (Benitez) toughest job, he has got to motivate these players who haven’t played well all season and have played with no confidence, to play in some huge games in which to keep Newcastle United in the Premier League.’