Former Liverpool star Dominic Matteo thinks that Newcastle United have a Championship quality squad, after watching the Magpies lose at Anfield, while also pointing to what he sees as a lack of commitment on the pitch.

The Magpies had conceded just seven goals away from home in the Premier League before their Merseyside visit, but surrendered meekly to Liverpool at Anfield on Boxing Day to lose 4-0.

Rafael Benitez’s side have struggled to score goals this season and have managed just 14 goals in 19 league games, which is the second lowest in the league.

Newcastle did add Salomon Rondon and Yoshinori Muto in the summer, but the duo have not been able to get on the scoresheet on a regular basis to test teams.

Matteo has serious concerns about the quality at Benitez's dispisal and believes that the confidence is also low within the group. 

“There's not a lot of quality in the Newcastle team”, Matteo said after the game on LFC TV.

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“The confidence is low enough. They are maybe a Championship squad at best.

“I know you've got to work with what you've got and you expect an experienced manager like Rafa Benitez to maybe get better out of them.

“But for me, not good enough all round and they definitely need a centre forward.

“They are crying out for a goalscorer, even when they get the opportunities they can't take them."

Matteo also believes there is a distinct lack of passion and willingness to run through brick walls for the three points, despite the Newcastle fan backing.

“Go back to the crowds, the massive numbers they are getting through the door.

“They've always at least been watching good football, good attacking teams, creating chances and playing with a bit of passion.

“There's no passion in that Newcastle team.

“OK, there will be a couple of lads – [Paul] Dummett local lad, [Jamaal] Lascelles the captain – having a go, but overall there's not enough commitment for me, not enough desire to go and win a football game.

“But then you do need good players in your team as well, especially when you're coming to places like Anfield, where you can get rolled over.”

Benitez will hope to do business in the January transfer window, which is now just a matter of days away.