Chris Waddle has defended Rafa Benitez with the former Real Madrid manager still in contract limbo at St James' Park.
Despite meeting Mike Ashley two weeks ago, the Toon chief has still not moved forward on contract discussions and could leave in May.
Speaking to Sportingbet Waddle said: "Everybody at the club from the players to the fans loves Rafa Benitez and wants him to stay for the long-term, I don’t think anyone would begrudge him leaving in these conditions.
"He is a very talented ambitious manager who is not getting even close to what he wants from Mike Ashley and there’s only so many times you can ignore the approaches from other clubs with looser purse strings.
"Newcastle United are set for a relegation battle this season, there’s no doubt about that.
" Benitez has essentially had the same group of players for the last three years and is being asked to work miracles.
"The players are performing well, but they aren’t scoring goals."
Despite Waddle's fears that Benitez will leave the club, the ex-England ace said: "I think Rafa Benitez would love to sign a new deal at Newcastle and stay at the club next year, if they can avoid relegation.
"He will have offers from other clubs but he knows how rare it is to have unwavering support from the fans and that’s exactly what he has at Newcastle.
"There will come a point where Rafa Benitez has to leave Newcastle in order to fulfil his own ambitions.
"He wants to compete for trophies and have more freedom in the transfer market, but there’s little sign of that happening at the moment.
"Benitez won’t hang around battling relegation forever. "
MAN UTD 3 NEWCASTLE 2 (Kenedy, Muto)
Dubravka, Yedlin, Lascelles, Fernandez, Manquillo, Ritchie, Shelvey, Diamé, Kenedy (Murphy 68), Pérez (Joselu 88), Muto (Atsu 78)
Subs: Schär, Hayden, Darlow
NEWCASTLE 0 LEICESTER 2
Dubravka, Yedlin (Manquillo 80), Lascelles, Clark, Kenedy, Ritchie (Murphy 65), Diamé, Shelvey, Atsu, Pérez (Muto 69), Joselu
Subs: Schär, Hayden, Darlow, Longstaff
CRYSTAL PALACE 0 NEWCASTLE 0
Dubravka, Yedlin, Lascelles, Fernandez, Dummett, Ritchie (Atsu 73), Diamé, Shelvey, Kenedy, Pérez (Muto 81), Rondón (Joselu 45)
Subs: Clark, Ki Sung-yueng, Manquillo, Darlow
NEWCASTLE 1 ARSENAL 2 (Clark)
Dubravka, Yedlin, Lascelles (Clark 45), Fernandez, Dummett, Ritchie (Muto 79), Hayden, Diamé, Murphy (Kenedy 69), Pérez, Joselu
Subs: Shelvey, Rondón, Manquillo, Dar
MAN CITY 2 NEWCASTLE 1 (Yedlin)
Dubravka, Yedlin, Lascelles, Fernandez, Clark (Murphy 81), Dummett, Kenedy (Atsu 54), Diamé, Ki Sung-yueng, Pérez, Rondón (Joselu 73)
Subs: Muto, Sterry, Darlow, Longstaff
NOTTINGHAM FOR 3 NEWCASTLE 1 (Rondon)
Darlow, Sterry, Schär, Fernandez (Pérez 69), Clark, Atsu, Longstaff, Ki Sung-yueng, Kenedy, Muto (Murphy 77), Joselu (Rondón 82)
Subs: Elliot, Dummett, Diamé, Yedlin
NEWCASTLE 1 CHELSEA 2 (Joselu)
Dubravka, Yedlin, Schär (Muto 79), Fernandez, Clark, Dummett, Ritchie, Diamé, Ki Sung-yueng, Murphy (Pérez 73), Rondón (Joselu 62)
Subs: Sterry, Darlow, Atsu, Longstaff
CARDIFF 0 NEWCASTLE 0
Dubravka, Manquillo (Hayden 45), Lascelles, Clark, Dummett, Ritchie (Murphy 70), Shelvey, Diamé, Kenedy, Pérez (Muto 65), Joselu
Subs: Ki Sung-yueng, Rondón, Fernandez, Darlow
NEWCASTLE 1 TOTTENHAM 2 (Joselu)
Dubravka, Yedlin (90+2), Lascelles, Clark, Dummett, Ritchie (Atsu 69), Shelvey, Diamé, Kenedy, Pérez (Muto 81),Joselu (Rondón 59)
Subs: Ki Sung-yueng, Schär, Manquillo, Darlow