Date: 15th April 2006 at 11:57am
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There was major concern amongst Toon fans when Freddy Shepherd put Wigan boss Paul Jewell on his short list of potential Newcastle managers. No disrespect to the man, but Jewell was not seen as the man who would bring glory to St James’ Park. A record of more relegations than a manager should be allowed to put on his CV, we were … and still do … expect better.

Nobody gave Jewell’s side a prayer of avoiding relegation in August, yet he looks as though he is starting to get things right.

Jewell: ‘We’ve established we are going to be in the Premiership next year, but to firmly establish yourself in the Premiership you have to do it for more than one season. I’m aware next season is going to be harder and more difficult for us – if that’s possible.’

‘Newcastle have had a difficult season for one reason or another. But I went to watch them last week and they are a very good side, full of international players.

‘They have barely been in the top half of the table all year, but they are now only three points behind us in 10th place. We have to match them, and with our away form better than most in this division, we go there full of confidence.

‘We’ve also beaten them twice this season, and that certainly counts for something because it proves we can compete with them.”