KIERAN TRIPPIER SENDS NEWCASTLE TOP-FOUR WARNING TO PREMIER LEAGUE RIVALS

Kieran Trippier says Newcastle haven't given up hope of another top-four finish and a Champions League encore.

But if the Toon have to win every game three times, they won't be needing their passports next season. Night owls who stayed up late reckon the widest gap in sport is the difference between winning and losing the Super Bowl.

‌But never mind the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs' squabble in Las Vegas - the chasm between the world's richest club on paper and the top four looks geet walla, as they say in Geordie heartlands.

‌Top marks to England defender Trippier and Bruno Guimaraes, two-goal hero at the City Ground, for refusing to give up the ghost. The Newcastle skipper insisted: "There's still a lot of points to play for and we're not going to give up on the top four.

‌"Of course, we know it's going to be difficult to close that gap, but in football, you never know - there's going to be a lot of twists and turns from now to the end of the season.

"We go into every game with a mentality to win, and it's going to be hard to finish in the top four because of the teams who are up there, but we've still got to play most of them and you never say never."

‌And Guimaraes, who had scored only once all season - in the eight-goal romp at Sheffield United, where virtually everyone had a turn - echoed his captain's optimism. We have to get Europe again," he said. "Try for Champions League - I know it's difficult, but definitely for Europa League."

‌The Magpies will have to defend better than this if they are going to get past Calais. They have already shipped six more goals than in the whole of last season, and Bruno's two corking finishes was the difference against spirited Forest.

‌Trippier said: "We showed a lot of resilience and a great attitude in tough moments. We're still disappointed with the way we conceded the two goals but this is always a tough place to play and they made it difficult for us.

‌"Bruno was playing a bit higher up the pitch here, in a No.8 position, but he’s got that in his locker - he's got that magic and he shone in that role. But he also does a brilliant job in the No.6 position for us as well with the calmness he brings to the team, and he’s been brilliant for us since he signed."

‌There was talk of Guimaraes leaving Newcastle last month to keep the club on the right side of financial fair play rules, but the Brazilian pied piper does not sound like a player in a hurry to quit Geordie shores.

He said: "I enjoy my time here. The fans have been unbelievable for me and my family. I hope this can keep going for a long time. Sometimes the people speak a lot about me. I'm very happy here and I like how the fans think of me. Let the people speak."

Newcastle just about deserved their win, but they were the beneficiaries of another VAR brain fog which left Forest claiming they were robbed. At 2-2, Taiwo Awoniyi was brought down by Toon keeper Martin Dubravka and referee Anthony Taylor, too far behind the incident to have a clear view, kept his whistle in the holster.

‌But what was VAR Tony Harrington looking at? He didn't even advise Taylor to take a closer look on the pitchside monitor when CCTV captured the highwayman holding up the stagecoach and riding off towards Tyneside with the loot. It was a gormless cop-out.

Even Geordie royalty Alan Shearer, sifting through the evidence on Match of the Day, admitted: "If that was the other way round, I would be screaming for a penalty. I can understand why Nottingham Forest fans feel robbed."

Join our new WhatsApp community and receive your daily dose of Mirror Football content. We also treat our community members to special offers, promotions, and adverts from us and our partners. If you don't like our community, you can check out any time you like. If you're curious, you can read our Privacy Notice.

2024-02-11T22:48:54Z dg43tfdfdgfd