By Tam McManus

11th Nov, 2022 | 5:00am

Pundit issues 'incredible' Newcastle United claim after 'mad' development

It would be a failure if Newcastle United failed to finish in the top four this season.

That’s according to former Hibernian striker Tam McManus, speaking exclusively to Football Insider about the club’s aims for the season.

The Magpies are third in the Premier League ahead of the final round of fixtures before the World Cup break.

Eddie Howe’s side will go into the break in the top four no matter what happens this weekend.

McManus insists it would now be a failure if the club didn’t qualify for the Champions League at the end of the season.

“It has to be Champions League, it has to be,” McManus told Football Insider‘s Ben Wild.

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“They have been brilliant this season so anything less than that, for me, is a failure. They are good enough to do it and we have seen that they can beat pretty much anyone.

“Europa League football or even the Conference League would be a failure for them even if they are bringing back European football.

“That has to be the aim now, as mad as it sounds. Newcastle have to finish in the top four this season.

“It’s an incredible thing to say but it’s true.”

Newcastle have not played in Europe since the 2012/13 season when they reached the quarter-finals of the Europa League.

Their last game before the World Cup comes against Chelsea on Saturday (12 November).

In other news, a finance guru has issued verdict on Newcastle United chief Amanda Staveley derailing Mike Ashley takeover bid.