By Noel Whelan

11th Dec, 2021 | 10:00am

Pundit blasts Newcastle board over 'shambles' after 'very surprising' hire update

Noel Whelan has slammed the Newcastle United board as the “messy” hunt for a new director of football continues.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Leeds striker branded the situation at St James’ Park as a “shambles”.

As reported by the Daily Mail on Tuesday (7 December), Newcastle have hired an external recruitment firm to help find in a director of football.

The process could reportedly take up to two months, with the board set to appoint a short-term advisor in the interim.

With January around the corner, Whelan admitted he was very surprised the board did not have a plan in place.

Whelan told Football Insider’s Russell Edge: “It has come across as a bit of a shambles. Ideally, you’d like that director of football in working alongside the manager.

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“Especially when you’re coming up to such a crucial window in January and you’re down there in the relegation zone.

“You know you need to improve the squad. You need to get players in that are going to assure you of Premier League football next year.

“Then you can really go to town and get the players that you’re looking at in the summer. So this is not ideal for Newcastle at all.

“You’d like to see jigsaw pieces in place where they can get their heads together and identify players that they can bring in and that are available.

“That is going to give them that chance and opportunity to get away from the relegation zone. It’s not the best scenario, it seems a little bit messy, in my opinion.

“I’m very surprised they didn’t have a backup for somebody to come into that technical director role. It’s so important.”

Newcastle currently sit 19th in the Premier League table.

They face Leicester City on Sunday (11 December).

In other news, Newcastle United tipped to kick off “new era” with “marquee signing” of familiar face.