Aaron Stokes has claimed that Newcastle United have already exceeded their expectations set behind the scenes by sitting in the top four.
Stokes claimed that people behind the scenes at Newcastle were simply aiming and hoping for a top-half finish from Eddie Howe and his players, however, 13 games into the campaign and they are sitting nicely inside the Champions League spots.
It’s not as if the Magpies have fluked their way there either having picked up positive results against the likes of Manchester United, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur, while also only tasting defeat once all season.
Stokes has now admitted on the Everything is Black and White podcast that Howe has exceeded expectations set by PIF by having Newcastle in European contention.
(6:40) “I think a lot of people you spoke to before the season were saying let’s take top half, let’s take seventh of eighth and I think even behind the scenes at the club, from what we understand, that was probably the aim.
Could Newcastle finish in the top four?
“They weren’t certainly going to be getting rid of Eddie Howe if they weren’t making European spots and now, you’ve got two games before the World Cup, you’ve got a real chance now going into that winter break in the top four.”
TIF Thoughts on Newcastle’s aims this season…
It’s probably fair enough that people within the walls of St James’ Park weren’t looking or even expecting to be pushing for Europe this season given where the Magpies were just 12 months ago, but it will certainly be very welcomed where they find themselves.
If Eddie Howe can continue to squeeze every last drop out of his Newcastle squad and then add a few key players in January, there really should be no reason why the Magpies can’t mount a serious top four push.
However, it will also be reassuring for fans and Howe to know that if they aren’t challenging for Europe at any point this season and the form perhaps drops off, PIF certainly won’t be looking to pull the trigger and sack Howe, according to Stokes.