John Hartson makes a surprise Mike Ashley prediction as Newcastle United 'eye' a defender midfielder

BT Sport pundit John Hartson has predicted that Mike Ashley could ‘panic’ in January – which may lead to drastic changes at St James's Park.

Saturday, 12th October 2019, 4:00 pm
Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley

The Magpies are riding on the crest of a wave after a 1-0 victory over Manchester United in their last outing, but remain among the favourites for relegation from the Premier League this term.

And Hartson believes that should Newcastle find themselves in relegation danger in January then Ashley may ‘panic’ and decide to part company with Steve Bruce – despite Ashley remaining staunch in his defence of Bruce in the early weeks of the season.

“I know Steve, he’s a really really top bloke, says it like it is, doesn’t make excuses, he’s honest,” said the former striker, speaking to Football Fan Cast.

“He just needs his players now to step up and to give it everything.

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“I think Bruce will get a bit more time, another three or four months until January.

“If Newcastle are rock bottom or in the bottom three then Mike Ashley might decide to do something and panic.”

Meanwhile, Newcastle have been linked with a winter swoop for QPR defender Ryan Manning.

Football Insider claim that the Magpies are monitoring the 23-year-old, who has flourished at left-back this season.

They report that a fee of £3million could prove enough to lure Manning to St James’s Park, with his current contract set to expire at the end of the current season.