Ex-Sunderland defender says players are to blame for poor Newcastle United start
Former Sunderland loanee DeAndre Yedlin has admitted that he and his teammates - not Rafa Benitez - are fully to blame for Newcastle's poor start to the season.
The Magpies remain winless after a tough start to the Premier League season, and head to Southampton tomorrow in search of their first three points of the campaign.
Benitez's side have picked up just two points all season and results have late have seen the Spaniard criticised in some quarters.
But Yedlin has been keen to stress that the former Liverpool manager is not to blame, claiming that the playing squad will be taking responsibility for the disappointing results.
And, in an interview with Sky Sports, the full-back praised the impact Benitez has had on his career since he moved to St James's Park.
Formerly of Tottenham, the American spent the 2015/16 season on loan at the Stadium of Light before moving to Tyneside on a permanent basis in the summer of 2016.
Since then, the impact Benitez had had on Yedlin has been telling - which has led the defender to deflect any criticism away from his manager.
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"He has been a great manager," said the 25-year-old.
"He brought me here and showed a lot of trust in me, and has brought this team to a great level.
"At the end of the day it's up to the players on the pitch to show what we have been working on.
"If there is anyone to blame on the pitch, it's the players. I'll be the first one to hold me hand up for that.
"We're all behind the manager and have bought into his gameplan."