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Newcastle United can give their season a real Bolt-on

By Lee Ryder on Feb 24, 11 09:38 AM


With 11 games left of a season that hasn't let us down one little bit with it's fair share of thrills and spills, not many could quite have believed that going into the final straight of Newcastle United's top flight campaign that a place in the Europa League was even open to question.

Of course Newcastle are still some way off actually achieveing what some might deem unthinkable.

And something others will certainly deem impossible and the Magpies aren't even safe yet.

But should Newcastle beat Bolton Wanderers on Saturday they will go ahead of the Trotters and in that same scenario should Sunderland fail to win their tough game at Everton, it will be United sitting in seventh spot going into the last 10 matches of the season.

Alan Pardew has already pointed out that Bolton are a side considered to be having a great season in they's of TV pundits and experts.

But where would that leave Newcastle if they see off the Trotters?

That said, beating Bolton won't come easy.

Owen Coyle's side wiped the floor with Newcastle at the Reebok Stadium in arguably the worst performance of the season in a 5-1 loss for Chris Hughton's side.

Two games later he was gone.

Since then Pardew has lost four of his 12 games in charge at United, three of those games were in the Premier League and two against top four opposition.

He has the so called comfort zone of two games at St James' Park but this has often proved to be a false sense of security this season.

United haven't done as well as we all thought at home this season and incredibly Pardew has won as many home games in the league as Hughton (two each).

I've always felt Newcastle had enough in the locker to stay up and I think even the most paranoid Toon fan will be feeling that survival is almost assured.

But the Europa League?

Just to live on and fight another day come Saturday night will be just the job for most Toon fans this weekend.

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Lee Ryder

Lee Ryder - Proudly born and bred on Tyneside, the Chronicle's chief sports writer has followed the fortunes of the club over the last three decades as a Toon fan and football writer.

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