Joe Kinnear has blamed Newcastle's plight on his predecessors and claims he is sick of "carrying the can''.
The Magpies' season hit a new low when they lost 3-0 to Blackburn, managed by former Toon boss Sam Allardyce, leaving them only two points clear of the relegation zone.
Kinnear, who took over at St James' Park following Kevin Keegan's resignation in September, has a contract until the end of the season but has come under pressure from disgruntled fans.
However, he feels the squad was not up to scratch when he arrived.
"I've inherited this,'' Kinnear said. "They are not my players, everybody has forgotten that.
"But our biggest problem is a lack of strength in depth. Why wasn't it addressed by the last manager (Keegan) or the manager before him (Allardyce)?
"I am carrying the can for it. It is as simple as that.''
Kinnear, who claimed this week he has been offered a "lucrative'' contract to stay at the helm past the end of the season, is optimistic owner Mike Ashley will provide money to strengthen the squad.
"I have spelled out the gravity of the situation,'' Kinnear continued. "I say, 'We're not prepared for anything like the disaster we face and you've got to realise the importance of that'.
"I want to be judged on what I bring in. The depth of the first-team squad is not right at the moment.
"We must look to stay up this season and have a big clear-out in the summer and address everything completely differently.''
Kinnear admits he is worried the Magpies could be playing in the Coca-Cola Championship next season.
He added: "I lie in bed and worry and dread this situation. I'm a proud fella and I don't want to be relegated.''