Michael Owen thinks Newcastle United supporters should be wary of being critical towards owner Mike Ashley and manager Alan Pardew.
A poor second half to the season that has revolved around 13 defeats in 2014 in all competitions means Newcastle have limped towards a top-10 to finish after initially challenging in the European places.
Fan unrest towards Pardew has grown significantly over the past few months, but former Newcastle striker Owen feels that the 52-year-old has done well considering the budget available.
While Owen has sympathy for the St James' Park faithful for a lack of "stardust" and high-profile signings, he believes that the bigger picture at the club is positive.
"They have bought really well over the last few years," Owen told the Newcastle Chronicle.
"They are a club that aren't in huge debt anymore, so they will be the envy of a lot clubs.
"They haven't spent big amounts but are making big amounts. Obviously that doesn't help the supporters!
"Every fan wants those stars and signings. It is a balance between putting yourself out there and spending a lot of money then putting the club in financial difficulty or keeping it all tight and running well and having a sustainable business.
"Obviously football fans don't see it as a business.
"They want to be passionate and see their team playing good football.
"All I would say on the whole situation is that I'm sure Alan Pardew would want an open cheque book like most managers.
"But for what he's got and what he's had to play with, with a small squad, to get ninth in the Premier League is a pretty decent return.
"I wouldn't suggest it's all doom and gloom at all, but I understand the frustrations of the fans."
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