Federico Fernandez sees no need for Newcastle United to panic, despite a winless start to the Premier League season.
The Argentine defender was part of the Swansea City side who suffered the drop to the Championship last season, so has relevant, first-hand experience of a battle at the wrong end of the top flight.
Fernandez, whose side are third bottom with just two points from seven games, does not think fans should be too concerned with United’s troubling start.
“There’s no panic at the moment, none at all. It’s still early in the season,” said Fernandez, who is in line to return to the Magpies’ ranks for this weekend’s trip to Manchester United after a hamstring problem.
“Of course we’re not happy with results so far, defensively, we’ve been alright, the games have all been tight but we need to create more chances and score more goals.
“I think the foundations are there for us, because we’re not conceding too many goals. Results have not been good, but there are some positives but we know we have to improve.”
After years of flirting with relegation, the Swans ended their seven-year stint in the Premier League last season - Fernandez is keen not to compare United’s struggles with that of his former club.
When asked whether he thinks Rafa Benitez’s side are stronger than Swansea, the former Napoli man said: “I don’t really want to compare this with Swansea last year. I don’t think it’s fair on either team, it’s a fresh squad, a different team. I don’t like this.
“I’m here now, I think we’re a really good squad and now we have to compete and just focus on getting those wins. That’s the only way to do it.
“If you look at our start, we competed with the top clubs, we showed that. Now we need to show we can start to win in the Premier League, picking up points now to improve our position.
“No player wants to be involved in two relegations in a row, of course. At the moment I see no reason for panic for us. We have a good mentality, we work hard in training and now we have an opportunity to take some points.” Despite missing last weekend with a knock Fernandez has looked more than comfortable in a partnership with United skipper Jamaal Lascelles.
He admits he’s been impressed with his captain and hopes he can help not only Lascelles, but also other younger United players, by passing on his football knowledge, crafted at the very highest level. “I’ve been impressed with him,” said Fernandez on Lascelles.
“He’s a typical English centre-half, strong and decent with the ball and enjoy playing with him and I think it’s worked really well.
“It’s a young team and I feel I can help the younger players with my experience. I’ve had a few years in the Premier League and I can talk to the players during the game. Maybe I can help others become better players, but we need everyone to be playing well.”