Full-back Ryan Taylor admitted Newcastle United face an uphill task preserving their top-flight status, with the Tyneside outfit struggling for confidence.
Newcastle hover just two points above the relegation zone after surrendering a half-time lead as they lost 2-1 against relegated QPR on Saturday.
John Carver’s men have lost nine of their last 10 games heading into Sunday’s final match of the season at home to West Ham and Taylor said: “As players we had a bit of turmoil once Alan [Pardew] left [for Crystal Palace in January].
“We were unsure, have we got a manager? Who is in charge? It took a few weeks to resolve and then John got the job.
“You look back now, nine defeats out of 10. I don’t care who you are, it does shatter your confidence.
“We shouldn’t be in this position, not with the amount of experience and international players we’ve got. Then again, maybe it is a confidence thing, and a few players new to the league, and now we are down to the nitty gritty. We really need characters now.”
Taylor added: “Yes, it’s a big job but it’s down to the players. We were unlucky to have a lot of injuries, but we still had quality in the squad. We just haven’t done it.
“We will have chats this week. I’m sure John will be putting his message across: ‘Listen, if you don’t want to be under that much pressure, come and see me’. That’s the type of guy he is, and I’m sure the lads will respond.”