Former Newcastle star Lee Bowyer has spoken about his old club’s ambitions this season and backs them to qualify for European football.
The Magpies have enjoyed a strong start to the season under Eddie Howe and went into the World Cup break sitting third in the Premier League, above Tottenham and Manchester United.
They also won five on the bounce before the mid-season break and are in a good run of form with domestic football set to return.
Newcastle return to action in the Carabao Cup fourth round against Howe’s former side Bournemouth on Tuesday night – with LIVE commentary on talkSPORT – before travelling to face Leicester City in the Premier League on Boxing Day.
And Bowyer has praised the club’s investments on talkSPORT, saying their recent new signings will spur them on to a strong future under their current leadership.
Bowyer told White and Jordan: “I think they will stay in the top six. The way Eddie Howe has spent his money has been very, very good. They’ve spent their money wisely.
“They’ve not gone for superstars – which I’m guessing the money is there for them to do that. They know the type of personality they need at the club.”
The former midfielder then added the Magpies have signed players who understand the club and what it means to play for their fans.
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“Knowing Newcastle the way I do, you have to be a certain person to handle the pressures up there,” Bowyer said.
“They have 50,000 fans there no matter what, no matter what division you’re in, whether it’s Championship or Premier League, and they demand that you give everything for that shirt.
“So I think the players they’ve brought in have been very wise, good additions to the squad.
“They’ve improved them slowly but surely and in the next few years they will be a big force and it’s good to see.
“They can get back to Europe. When I was there, we were playing in Europe and they can get back to those times.”
Former Sunderland striker Darren Bent was also full of praise for his old club rivals, and tipped Howe’s side to lift a cup this season and end Newcastle’s long wait for silverware – having last won a major trophy all the way back in 1955 when they were FA Cup winners.
“A trophy would be massive for Newcastle,” Bent said on Drivetime.
“It’s a huge club, it’s one of those stadiums you can just see from everywhere – and I lived up there when I played for Sunderland and it’s really annoying!
“They’ve got massive support, and you talk about a trophy, I think it would be fantastic.
“If they were to finish fifth or sixth in the Premier League and win a trophy, that would be fantastic for the club.
“They’d probably be happy with a top-ten finish, but I think they’re better than that.
“When you look at how consistent Newcastle have been under Howe this season, for them to finish tenth something would have to go drastically wrong somewhere.
“I think they’re good enough to finish in the top five or six and win a trophy this season.”
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