Rafa Benitez has insisted that he does not fear being dismissed as manager of Newcastle, believing the hierarchy understand the club's current league position is indicative of their difficult start to the season.
The Magpies have been cemented in the Premier League's bottom three all season, having yet to register a win. Their poor start has opened the Spaniard up to speculation over his future at the helm of the club, while Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers was reportedly mooted as a potential successor.
However, despite a run of 11 defeats in 14 games, Benitez remains confident of his ability to keep hold of his job and steer Newcastle out of the danger zone.
“I don’t fear the sack. Because I don’t think that, that’s it,” Benitez told reporters, via the Mirror. “Is it a difficult situation? Yes, because you are at the bottom of the table. Something that we were not expecting? No, it could be.
"You see the fixtures, you see the level of the others teams and you knew we could be there more or less. We have to win one game and it will be a lift for everyone. We know it's like that.
"I have confidence we will do it. We will do well, we will stay in the Premier League. I will not say what position.”
When asked if he would blame the club for assessing their managerial options, he added: “I don’t blame anyone because I’m a professional. What I have to do is get the best from my players. The most important thing is to stay in Premier League. The city needs that.”
The task of keeping the Magpies' top flight status will again need to be conducted on a limited budget, however, as there have been no assurances from the club's board that Mike Ashley will be prepared to splash the cash - despite only parting with £23m over the summer.
A report from the Chronicle Live claims Newcastle's precarious position will not force Ashley's hands during the winter window, and the Spaniard knows his options in the market are likely to be limited to European loan deals.
The club will make money available for the "right players" and Benitez is eager to finalise the club's business early and has instructed his scouts to find low budget options who can help propel the team up the table by November - with a left back and winger both high on his wish list.