It’s crunch time for Newcastle United, as they enter the business end of the Premier League season and seek to retain their status in the top-flight.
The Magpies have struggled for consistency since their return to England’s top league, having won the Championship title last season, but a major boost was provided on Sunday with a memorable 1-0 victory over Manchester United.
It gives Newcastle a platform to build upon but the club are under no illusions that the battle is only on the field, as the Magpies will face a number of challenges off it- particularly in their quest to ensure their squad is up to scratch.
As is customary in the close-season, a number of sides could swoop to try and snatch players from Newcastle’s grasp and the January transfer window provided evidence of that- though Rafael Benitez made it clear he wouldn’t sell to a rival.
That stance is more difficult to adopt in the summer though and Newcastle face a massive test at the end of the season- and they need to fight tooth and nail to keep these three players.