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18th Apr, 2017 | 3:53pm

Newcastle fans react on Twitter as Hutchison rates automatic promotion chances

By Matt Farr

Don Hutchison is confident Newcastle will join Brighton in the Premier League as the second automatically promoted side – but fans on Twitter are already in meltdown..

The former Premier League midfielder took to his personal Twitter account following the 3-1 defeat to Ipswich on Monday to praise the work done by Rafa Benitez, and reiterate the club will still well clear of third-place.

He said: “People losing their minds over Newcastle form lately. Believe me, it’s a brutal league to play in. Rafa [Benitez] has built a champ side and are five clear.”

Newcastle succumbed to their second Championship defeat in three games with a 3-1 loss away at Ipswich, which left them seven points adrift of league leaders Brighton in the title race.

But they remain six points clear of third-placed Reading with just three games to go, meaning the remaining automatic promotion place is still very much in Newcastle’s hands.

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However, Newcastle fans were surprisingly unoptimistic following the Ipswich disaster, and took to Twitter in response to Hutchison’s positive promotion verdict.

Here is a selection of their messages on Twitter:

Newcastle’s last three Championship fixtures sees them face-off against Preston, Cardiff and Brentford, who all sit mid-table.

They got the better of the trio when they clashed earlier in the season, but the added pressure Newcastle faces this time around could see them come unstuck.

But promotion rivals Reading and Huddersfield, who the sides closest within range of Newcastle, must also maintain their own form and keep winning their games.

In other Newcastle news, Football Insider has revealed the three worst players during the Ipswich defeat.

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