In an exclusive interview with Football FanCast, former Newcastle United midfielder Rob Lee, who made more than 300 appearances for the club, says Toon fans have ever right to expect the team to compete with similar-sized Premier League clubs.
After Steve Bruce expressed his desire to finish in the top half of the Premier League, Newcastle have fallen like a stone winning just two games since December and the performances have matched that form.
Fans continue to express their discontent towards both manager and owner and a training ground bust-up between Ritchie and Bruce would have done the former Sunderland manager no favours.
The days of challenging England’s elite are far gone now and Lee admits all Newcastle fans want now is to compete with teams in the bottom half of the Premier League.
Newcastle have had an average of 39.1% possession in the Premier League this season, which coincides with Lee’s idea of fans just wanting to be able to compete well with their peers for 90 minutes.
Lee told Football FanCast how Newcastle fans will be feeling and what they expect from their club which has fallen from dominant force to relegation contenders in a number of years.
He said: “The fans don’t expect us to be winning titles and compete with the Man City and Man United’s of the world.
“They do expect to compete with your Burnley and Southamptons of this world and rightly so.
“It’s not an outrageous expectation like people have been saying. I think it’s the expectation of where Newcastle are, they should be better than where they are.”
A lot of pundits believe Newcastle fans expect to be challenging for Europe and titles every season, just because they used to under Keegan and Bobby Robson.
However, Lee sets the record straight that the fans just want to be competitive with the teams around them in the Premier League.