By Coral Barry

The protest from Aston Villa fans was a factor in Newcastle’s failure to win Saturday’s stalemate, according to Jack Colback.

Frustrated Villa supporters threw beach balls onto the pitch to briefly halt the match, something Colback thinks affected his side’s chances.

Newcastle’s 0-0 draw with already-relegated Aston Villa plunged them back into the bottom three and means they will join the Midlands club in the Championship next season if Sunderland win one of their two remaining games.

“Obviously the beach balls and inflatables getting put on the pitch made it difficult,” Colback told BBC Newcastle. “We didn’t really get momentum in the game. It was stop-start.”

“We never really looked under threat defensively, but we never really had that killer instinct going forward,” Colback told BBC Newcastle.

The draw extends Newcastle’s unbeaten run to five matches, their best sequence of results since November 2014, but survival is now beyond the control of the club.

Newcastle have one match remaining against Tottenham next Sunday but the Magpies could already be relegated by the time they play if Sunderland can earn three points at home to Everton on Wednesday.

“Everyone’s gutted. It’s obviously out of our hands now but we just have to pray Everton do us a favour,” Colback told BBC Newcastle. “They’re a good side, so there’s no reason why they can’t go to Sunderland and get a result.

“Then we’ll back our home form to get a win, and then you’re looking at Sunderland’s result again.”

Colback has featured 28 times for Newcastle in all competitions this season and has been an integral part of Rafael Benitez’s side in recent weeks, managing 90 minutes in each of his last five appearances for the Magpies, although he was substituted in the 90th minute against Villa with six minutes of added time to play.

In other Newcastle news, Alan Shearer has given his verdict on the result against Aston Villa.