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Matthew Hobkinson

Shay Given opens up on Newcastle United's Champions League 'fairytale' amid top four race

Former Newcastle United goalkeeper Shay Given has claimed it "would be fairytale stuff" if the Magpies qualified for the Champions League after he admitted that his old club are in the driving seat for the top four.

Saturday afternoon's 2-1 victory over Brentford has kept Newcastle in third with a goal difference 20 better than Manchester United in fourth. They are three points clear of Tottenham and have a game in hand over the North London club currently just outside of the Champions League places.

What initially started as just a dream at the beginning of the season has slowly become a reality. Eddie Howe's side have just nine games left to maintain their place in the top four and secure entry into Europe's premier competition next term.

READ MORE: Maxi's message, Howe's full-time gesture and Toney's panic in Newcastle win

And Given believes that his old side can hold off competition from the likes of Man United and Spurs as they enter the business end of the season.

"It's looking really good," he told BBC Radio 5 Live Breakfast. "They had the six-week blip where results dropped off but now I hope they can really push on.

"It would be fairytale stuff if they finish in the top four. They're in a brilliant position and their goal difference is so much better than Manchester United and Tottenham."

Newcastle made it four consecutive wins with a resounding 5-1 victory at West Ham on Wednesday night and Given hailed manager Howe's decision-making during the game at the London Stadium, before they would go on to make it five straight top-flight wins against the Bees.

"West Ham made individual errors but you can't take anything from Newcastle. The energy levels and work-rate were phenomenal and Howe makes subs at the right time. Everything he is doing is absolutely perfect and the results are following."


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