Newcastle’s hierarchy concerned about missing out on Champions League football
Journalist Miles Starforth has revealed Newcastle United’s hierarchy are concerned about having to play in the Europa Conference League next season.
The Lowdown: European football is essential for next season
After such a strong start to the campaign, which saw Newcastle pick up positive results against the traditional top six, they have put themselves in a strong position to qualify for some form of European football next season.
However, with just two Premier League wins since the turn of the year, the Magpies have fallen away in the top-four race, although they will go back into the conversation if they were to win their two games in hand.
While Newcastle fans would likely be ecstatic with any sort of European football given they’ve not played on the continent for 10 years when they were dumped out of the Europa League by Benfica, Starforth has claimed that not everyone at the club shares that view.
The Latest: Newcastle worried about playing on a Thursday next season
Starforth has been speaking on the Loaded Mag YouTube channel about how people at the top of the club are concerned about how Thursday night football could impact their league form next season.
He said: “If it’s the Conference [League], then great. I think this club, with the strength in their squad, can attack it. Though the caveat to that, I think there is some concern higher up at the club about what this would mean for their Premier League form.
“There’s no question it would impact Premier League form and we can’t gloss around that. There is that concern there about what it would mean, and I guess it’s how do you minimise that impact on your domestic form [with] those games, the travelling and everything else.”
The Verdict: PIF must build a squad able to compete on multiple fronts
While it’s a natural worry from people higher up at the club who will wish to ensure that Newcastle can competently challenge on all fronts next season, the fans will be itching to have European ties back.
PIF will be looking at West Ham and how their form has fallen off a cliff in the Premier League during their participation in the Europa Conference League and be wary about replicating that, especially as they spent lavishly over the summer to improve their squad.
All of the big clubs in England know how to balance their squads while competing midweek in Europe and not letting standards drop on the weekend in the Premier League, which is the next step Newcastle must make if they wish to become regulars at the right end of the table.