Sky Sports pundit Charlie Nicholas has claimed that Newcastle United could have lost by eight goals in their defeat to Watford on Saturday.

The Magpies were easily seen off by Marco Silva’s side at St James’ Park, with strikes from midfielder Will Hughes and striker Andre Gray coming either side of an own goal from DeAndre Yedlin, securing a 3-0 victory for the Hornets and condemning Newcastle to their fourth successive defeat.

However, Nicholas says that it could have been an even more embarrassing result for Rafael Benitez and his side, with Watford guilty of passing up clear goal scoring chances.

He also slammed Newcastle for their display, stating that manager Benitez appeared to hold the air of a man resigned to defeat at the half time whistle, in that he did little to try and change the way his side were playing.

Speaking on Sky Sports’ Soccer Saturday (25/11, 15:00), he said: “This could have been eight. It was that easy (for Watford).

“This game was over by half time and he (Benitez) had to change something – he never changed a thing.

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“This is a man who usually reacts, he didn’t do a thing. He brought on some changes that were totally irrelevant.

“The mess that’s at the back – there’s so many problems, they are all over the place defensively.”

The result leaves Newcastle four points ahead of the Premier League relegation zone in 13th, but could slip further down the table when Everton and Southampton meet on Sunday.

The Magpies will be hoping to end their dreadful run of form when they visit the Hawthorns on Tuesday evening to take on a managerless West Brom side, although caretaker boss Gary Megson did guide his side to an impressive 1-1 draw against Tottenham on Saturday.

In other Newcastle United news, Alan Shearer has blasted the Magpies’ performance against the Hornets.

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