Alan Shearer has claimed that it will be Steve Bruce’s aim for Newcastle United to finish higher than 13th this season.
The Magpies managed a mid-table finish under Rafa Benitez last term, and Toon legend Shearer believes that the new boss will be hoping to eclipse that achievement during his first campaign at the helm.
Speaking to BBC Sport, he said: “Ultimately, you always try to aim for better than how you did last season, when the Magpies finished 13th. That is what Steve will want to do.
“He has also said he wants to take the cup competitions seriously, while also looking to survive in the Premier League.
“Hopefully Newcastle can go on a good cup run, because it has been way too long since they did well in one of them.”
Prior to this weekend, the prospect of Newcastle bettering their league finish from last season would probably have been soundly laughed out of any serious discussion. A 1-0 win over Tottenham has had a pretty transformative effect on morale on Tyneside, however, and now the Toon Army are looking up the table, rather than over their shoulders. The fact of the matter is that little has changed though. Spurs were pretty poor on Sunday, and not to take anything away from the Magpies, who were excellent, but 90 minutes will not make their season. What they need now is to follow up that upset with some solid performances against sides who are altogether more beatable. Consistency will be key to their survival, and if they can nail that down then results like the one they posted on Sunday will be welcome little sweetness, rather than necessities.