Newcastle United legend Rob Lee has told Football FanCast that he is wary of bringing youngsters into Steve Bruce’s starting XI in case the club can’t climb out of trouble.
The Magpies are staring down the barrel of a relegation fight and have been in poor form in 2021 in general.
It has left Fulham, who previously appeared doomed, in with a shout of sealing their safety because of Newcastle’s form.
Lee was asked by FFC if one possible solution would be to bring young players into the starting XI in a bid to freshen up the squad.
But he believes that it could have a negative effect on the development of the youth players if they continue to drop points.
Lee, who played for Newcastle between 1992 and 2002, told FFC: “Well there’s two ways of looking at it.
“We’re not safe, so it’s a case of, yeah you could say, ‘bring in some youngsters, let’s freshen up the team’, but also you can say, ‘well actually, we’re in a relegation fight here’. Do we want youngsters coming in?
“It would be really tough for them, really difficult, it could put them back a while if it doesn’t go the way we want it to go. So there’s always two ways of looking at it.”
Lee has also hit out at the lack of structure to Bruce’s team selections, insisting that the club need to settle on a set way of playing if they are to claw their way up the table.
He accepts, though, that injuries have played a key role, something that Bruce himself has attributed to the lack of form.
He added: “I like having a set formation where this is the way we play. We can change it to a different formation but this is how we play and I watch Newcastle and I don’t think they’ve really got the way they play because every time you get a way you want to play, people get injured and we haven’t got players to replace them of the same ilk.
“I just think there’s so much now into different formations and who goes where, and false nines, and all this sort of rubbish, I’d rather it’d be ‘this is how we play in the main, if we get problems we can change. This is how we’ll best give teams problems, not worry about how teams are going to give us problems.’”