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Newcastle United Football Club

  • Nickname:Magpies
  • Founded:1881
  • Manager:Alan Pardew
  • Ground:St James' Park
  • Capacity:52193
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Keegan: No top-four chance

06 May 2008 - 07:31:25

Newcastle United manager Kevin Keegan accepts that his side have no chance of breaking into the top four of the Premier League in the near future.

Speaking after his side's Bank Holiday Monday defeat to Chelsea at St James' Park, Keegan admitted that next season the Magpies would only be able to finish as high as fifth, so dominant are Manchester United, Avram Grant's side, Arsenal and Liverpool.

He said: "The top four this year will be the top four next year. I want to tell the Newcastle fans that we want to get fifth. We will be trying to win the other league that's going on.

"It's just the truth. I'm not disappointed. Being back in now underlines what I thought.

"Chelsea today brought Shevchenko - £28million - off the bench, and Frank Lampard. There's no Shaun Wright-Phillips. There's no Ashley Cole. I could go on. I can't say to the Newcastle fans I've got firepower like that.

"The only games they (the top four) are losing are against each other. Not many teams outside the top four are beating them.

"They are just losing two or three games a season - but when I was at Liverpool, if we lost eight we'd had a great season.

"It's a realisation. It's there already. The way the league is at the moment, the gulf is too big. I don't want to mislead the fans. We will try our best and if one of them hits a brick wall or falls by the wayside I will be delighted. But it's difficult to see anyone break into the top four.

"We are the fifth-biggest club in this country in terms of fans, turnover and things like that. Tottenham might be pretty near us, but we will be fifth or sixth.

"Even if someone gives you a barrel of money, you have got to be honest and say you are not going to get the very best players. It's the pecking order. The top players go where the honours are.

"If we can get to fifth, it will be a massive achievement for this club. And it's very, very exciting to finish fifth.

"We will still do our best and I'm still optimistic for this club in terms of where it's been in the last few years.

"Realistically, we can finish fifth next season. It will be a hell of an achievement from where we are now. And if we did end up getting fourth by playing well, then I would be delighted."


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