Newcastle full-back Daryl Janmaat insists 'it is too early to say' the club are in a relegation battle following their 3-0 defeat to rivals Sunderland.
The Magpies looked to have turned a corner with the 6-2 thrashing of Norwich City at St James Park earlier this month but a sixth consecutive Tyne-Weer derby loss has seen them once again come under intense scrutiny.
But despite the club sitting just two points off the bottom of the table, Janmaat does not believe they can be considered candidates for the drop so early into the season.
"It is too early to say," Janmaat told the Newcastle Chronicle. "It is a worry, that's normal because we are now in the relegation positions, so we have to do better and win games soon.
"Next week we have Stoke at home and we have to win that."