Former Newcastle United man assesses how high 'confident' side can finish in the Premier League

Former Newcastle United midfielder John Barnes believes Eddie Howe’s side can be confident about their chances of securing a top half finish in the Premier League this season.

Newcastle finished 11th last season despite failing to win any of their opening 14 games of the campaign.

Fortunately, they got off the mark quickly this time around as they beat newly promoted Nottingham Forest 2-0 at St James’s Park last Saturday.

“It was a good victory [over Nottingham Forest],” Barnes told BonusCodeBets. “It was a good start for them. If you look at the way Newcastle finished last season, they finished with lots of confidence.”

The Newcastle United team huddle before the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Nottingham Forest at St. James Park on August 06, 2022 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

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"I suppose coming into this season with the signings they made and with the new confidence of the new owners; the harmony is good.”

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Following a decorated career with Liverpool, Barnes joined up with Kenny Dalglish at Newcastle where he scored seven goals in 40 appearances between 1997 and 1998. Barnes’ only full season on Tyneside saw the side finish 13th in the Premier League despite being runners-up the season prior.

And he expects Newcastle to improve on last season’s finish and finish above 10th for the first time since the 2011-12 season.

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John Barnes of Newcastle United in action during the FA Carling Premiership match against Derby County at St James Park in Newcastle, England. The game ended 0-0. \ Mandatory Credit: Clive Brunskill /Allsport

“Most of all, harmony has to be right, and at Newcastle, at this moment in time, the harmony is right,” Barnes added. "So I think that Newcastle can confidently look to be in the top half.

"I don’t think they necessarily have the quality or the strength and depth to be in the top five or six. But I think they’ll be looking to be in the top ten. Somewhere between sixth and tenth.”