'We thought they would write this season off, but they rallied'

Newcastle United Players and Staff clap the fans after winning the Premier League match between Burnley FC and Newcastle United
[Getty Images]

Newcastle United are still on course to secure European football for the second season in a row, with the Magpies sitting in sixth place on 56 points with just three games to go.

As Eddie Howe's side prepare for their last home game of the season against Brighton, BBC Radio Newcastle's Matthew Raisbeck has been analysing their season on the Albion Unlimited podcast: "We thought that Newcastle's season was going to fizzle out two months ago - that they were going to fall away from European contention and possibly end the season very much mid-table with just a view towards next season.

"We thought they were just going to write this season off, but they have rallied. After going out of the FA Cup and then losing to Manchester City in the middle of March, they have come back really strong.

"People will remember their comeback win against West Ham, when they were 3-1 down, that was their first game after the March international break. That was really critical - had they lost that, I think this season would have probably been over.

"They have won four out of their last five games and five out of their last seven games - so those results have propelled them up the table to where they are now in sixth.

"They could still mathematically finish fifth, which would be incredible.

"Getting any kind of European football after the season they've had, with all of the challenges and adversities, would be brilliant.

"The supporters would be delighted with that, and so would Eddie Howe as well."

Listen to Raisbeck discuss the Magpies and the Brighton fixture on the Albion Unlimited podcast