By Russell Edge

20th Apr, 2017 | 2:46pm

Alex Neil: Newcastle were let off the hook

By Russell Edge

Former Norwich City boss Alex Neil has predicted Newcastle will be celebrating promotion come the end of the season after being let off the hook last weekend.

Neil, who was manager of the Canaries during their relegation alongside Newcastle in 2015/16, was complimentary of the Magpies when talking to Sky Sports News on their Premier League Daily show.

Newcastle could secure automatic promotion on Monday night against Preston North End, although must wait and see how Huddersfield perform at home to Fulham on Saturday.

Huddersfield could have been breathing down the necks of Newcastle coming into this weekend, had they managed to hold on for a win against Derby County.

However, a late Jacob Butterfield goal meant The Terriers left with one point instead of three, and Neil believes that was the turning point for both promotion chasing sides.

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He told Premier League Daily: “I think the fact that Huddersfield didn’t win at Derby let them [Newcastle] off the hook a little bit.

“I think if Huddersfield had have won that game, Newcastle would have been sweating a little bit.”

Huddersfield have a game in hand over Rafa Benitez’s side, but were they to lose that and Newcastle to win one of their final three matches, then the Magpies would mathematically seal their place back in the Premier League at the first time of asking.

Neil, who lost his job at Norwich earlier in the season, believes this is exactly what will happen.

“With the limited amount of games left and the quality they have in their squad, I fully expect them to win automatic promotion,” he said on Sky Sports News’ Premier League Daily.

In other Newcastle news, fans were left fuming at the omission of their star man from the PFA team of the year.

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