Bolton boss Owen Coyle believes Newcastle run the risk of losing their manager Chris Hughton if his contract situation is not resolved quickly.
Hughton took up the reins at St James' Park on a caretaker basis in the aftermath of the Magpies' relegation from the Barclays Premier League in 2009, and having signed a permanent contract soon after, guided them back into the top flight at the first time of asking as Championship winners.
The team's progress has continued this term and earlier this month Newcastle sat fifth in the table following an impressive 1-0 victory at Arsenal.
On that evidence, it seems a formality that Hughton - whose current deal finishes at the end of this campaign - would be offered a new contract.
However, the club were forced to issue a statement in October confirming their intention to negotiate with the 51-year-old by the turn of the year following rumours his job was under threat.
Coyle finds it "incredible" there was such speculation given what Hughton has achieved and feels if Newcastle want to keep hold of him, they must act soon, saying: "The situation arose where he was given the opportunity, but he has earned everything he has got to this point. The sooner that contract situation is sorted out the better because they run the risk of losing him because of the quality he has."