Graeme Souness has predicted an 'extremely bright' future for Newcastle United following a 'remarkable' season for his former club.
Newcastle have qualified for the Champions League with a game to spare to return to Europe's top table for the first time in 20 years. To think Eddie Howe inherited a winless side in deep relegation trouble when he took charge 18 months ago.
Newcastle have certainly made real progress since then - only champions Man City have lost fewer games this season - and this top four finish feels like just the start given the club's huge ambitions. As far as Souness is concerned, Newcastle are 'there on merit'.
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"They have had a remarkable season," the former Newcastle manager told the Mirror. "The job that Eddie Howe has done has been fantastic.
"They play a brand of football that is exciting. We got early signs of that when they went to Liverpool early in the season and said, 'Right, we are going to try and outgun you here.' They ended up losing late in that game, but they have been an absolute delight to watch.
"What Eddie has done with the likes of [Miguel] Almiron, Joelinton, he's made players where there were serious doubts if they could cope with the Premier League into really good players in our league so onwards and upwards for them. It's just been a complete turnaround.
"If you ask any Newcastle fan, they will just be enjoying life so much. I've worked up there. It's a very passionate place. It's a big football club so the future is looking extremely bright."
Souness' comments serve as the perfect riposte to remarks made by pundit Jason Cundy, who claimed Newcastle were not a big club but, rather, 'one used to failure'.
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