'Fulham can smell Newcastle' - Dirk Kuyt delivers verdict on Toon survival hopes

Former Liverpool striker Dirk Kuyt has claimed that Newcastle United are still very much in a relegation battle this season.

Saturday, 20th February 2021, 3:00 pm
Newcastle manager Steve Bruce. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

The Magpies are currently six points clear of the drop zone, but 17th-placed Fulham have begun to show improved form in recent weeks, and could narrow the gap to just three points if they beat bottom side Sheffield United on Saturday night.

Manager Steve Bruce addressed the Cottagers’ attempts at overtaking his side during a press conference on Friday, and Kuyt believes that Newcastle still have to be wary of Scott Parker’s men.

Speaking on Sky Sports’ Football Show, he said: “Newcastle are right in there as well.

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“Fulham have started to get some points. If Fulham win tomorrow, and the manager [Steve Bruce] is talking about other teams also losing, from my point of view, that’s a weakness.

"It’s not done yet. If you’d looked a couple of weeks ago you could probably say, ‘Yes, Newcastle are not going to struggle’, but they need to look to themselves and they need to get some points or else it will be very difficult for them.

"Fulham can smell Newcastle at the moment, and what would be better for them to win the game this weekend to close the gap even more?

“I was watching his [Bruce’s] press conference – I was surprised.

"He's a very experienced manager and back in the days when I was at Liverpool he was already there and I like him as a manager, don’t get me wrong. But I was a bit surprised he was talking about other teams.

"He shouldn’t do that, he should focus on his own team.”