Pundit Trevor Sinclair has offered Newcastle fans a damning assessment of their prospects of Premier League survival.
What’s the story?
Speaking to talkSPORT, the former West Ham United and England midfielder believes Brighton will pick up enough points to steer them clear of the drop – at Newcastle’s expense.
Newcastle hover precariously above the relegation zone currently consisting of Fulham, West Brom and Sheffield United in the bottom three, but Fulham have one hand gripping the shoulder of Brighton and Newcastle.
With just a point keeping the Cottagers from escaping the relegation zone, many Newcastle fans will be keeping a nervous eye on results elsewhere.
Newcastle have 11 games left to play, including a game in hand over the bottom three and there still remains plenty of scope for a reversal in fortunes – but that alone has not left Sinclair convinced that the Magpies have what it takes to survive.
“Unfortunately, I think it is going to be Newcastle,” said Sinclair when asked who he felt could potentially be joining fellow strugglers Sheffield United and West Brom in Championship.
“They miss Callum Wilson hugely. I don’t know what the exact percentage is but he scores most of their goals. If he’s not in the team, I don’t see them winning enough games.
“Graham Potter – why would he change his principles? Why would he change his philosophy? They are playing great football.
“It’s the final piece of the jigsaw and the most important part most of the time is putting the ball in the back of the net.
“You can’t change your principles and philosophy of how you play and the performances you’re putting in just because you’re not scoring goals.
“Stick to it. Keep practising and you’ll turn it around.”
It is no wonder that Sinclair identifies Callum Wilson as a major differential.
With 10 league goals to his name this season, the ex-Bournemouth England international has been firing finely for Steve Bruce’s side.Pu
Joined by the likes of Miguel Almiron and Allan Saint-Maximin on the injury table, fans will be praying their main creative outlets can return in time to see out Newcastle’s survival bid.