Thu 4 Apr 2024, 09:06 · Ash Harrison

'Up against it': Alan Shearer gives his opinion on whether Newcastle will qualify for Europe this season

'Up against it': Alan Shearer gives his opinion on whether Newcastle will qualify for Europe this season
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This season started with a buzz of excitement for Newcastle United fans as they were back in the Champions League for the first time in 20 years.

Although the Magpies were drawn in the 'group of death' that only seemed to add to the excitement of being back in amongst Europe's elite with trips to the San Siro, Signal Induna Park and Parc de Princes on the agenda.

As the season got underway things started to unravel, though. It started with new signing Sandro Tonali being hit with a 10-month ban and then continued with some key players picking up long-term injuries with more and more being added to the casualty list before other players had even come off it.

Newcastle then received horrible draws against top-six sides in the Carabao Cup and only drawn as the away team in every round of the FA Cup. Nothing was going right for the Magpies.

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Newcastle fans are hoping European nights will return to St James' Park next season

Shearer was very comfortable on his fence

Despite all this, Newcastle are still in with a shot of qualifying for Europe again this season, albeit in a lesser competition, most likely the Europa Conference League, but given everything the club has been through, that would still be an amazing achievement.

Speaking on Match of the Day on Wednesday night after covering Newcastle's 1-1 draw with Everton - which really should have been a win - Alan Shearer was asked if he thinks Newcastle can qualify for Europe.

“Frustrating with all the injuries that they’ve got, but they’re in a battle with Man United, West Ham and Brighton to finish sixth. Up against it, though"

Newcastle have a mammoth task ahead but it's not beyond the realms of possibility

It seems like Shearer is hedging his bets slightly, refusing to say one way or another.

We dare bet it would have been an entirely different answer had Newcastle managed to hold on to their 1-0 lead on Tuesday night and if Tottenham had also managed to hold on to theirs as they faced West Ham.

There are eight games to go and Newcastle are right in the mix, but with injuries building up again, it's not going to be an easy ride but if we show that fighting spirit that got us the win against West Ham at the weekend, anything is possible.