By Russell Edge

18th Apr, 2018 | 3:23pm

'Absolutely brilliant' - BBC pundit gushes over Newcastle figure after stunning transformation

Former Scotland international and current pundit Pat Nevin has been left gushing over the performances of Newcastle United following their revolution in form.

The Magpies looked to be heading into a tightly fought relegation battle at the turn of the year, having suffered a dreadful run of form which had seen them pick up just one win in 12 games, nine of those coming as defeats, but 2018 has seen a stunning transformation under Rafael Benitez.

Newcastle have lost just twice, to newly crowned Premier League champions Manchester City and fellow high flyers Liverpool, since New Year’s Day, and have picked up four successive victories, the latest a surprise 2-1 win over Arsenal which puts them on the brink of mathematical safety from the drop.

Now Nevin, who is a regular pundit and analyst for the BBC, has gone into overdrive with his praise for the north east side, insisting Benitez deserves a Manager of the Year nomination for their performances.

He told Off The Ball.com: “They’ve been absolutely brilliant. They’re a dangerous team, they’re a well organised team, they’re a phenomenally structured team, they’re a sensibly built team as well.

“To do that with limited resources and find themselves arguably in the top half of the league considering where they were, he’s not going to get Manager of the Season, but he kind of should be in the running.”

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Football Insider verdict

If you had told Newcastle fans that their side would be where they are right now, they would have called you mad and deluded. The club were in dire straits and seemed to be sinking without a trace, but Benitez never lost faith and has completely turned things around. The Magpies could have quite easily found themselves in a similar situation to Stoke City or Southampton, had they not had the Spaniard at the helm. As it stands, Newcastle are set for a massively impressive finish, and Nevin is right to lay much of his praise at the manager’s door.

In other Newcastle United news, Alan Shearer has delivered a verdict no fans want to hear.

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