Former Newcastle United assistant manager Colin Calderwood was shocked by the decision to sack Chris Hughton.
Hughton, who guided the club back to the top flight at the first attempt last season, was axed on Monday, with the Magpies claiming someone “with more managerial experience is needed to take the club forward”.
And Calderwood, who left St James’ Park to take over as Hibernian boss in October, told the Daily Record: “Newcastle had a terrific team spirit under Chris.
“He gave the club a unique chance to balance the books and to move forward with a bit of stability.
“They cannot be forgiven for losing that chance. The foundation of the club could have been so much more secure with everyone pulling in the right direction if they had stuck with Chris.”
And Calderwood has warned Hughton’s replacement could be in for a tough time under the club’s current ownership.
He added: “At most clubs you usually have a fair understanding of where you stand but at Newcastle things seem to change dramatically in a short space of time.”