Alan Shearer believes Newcastle United must win their next two fixtures to give them a fighting chance of avoiding relegation this season.
The Magpies are currently bottom of the Premier League with six points from their opening 13 fixtures.
They are the only winless side in England’s top four divisions and recently replaced Steve Bruce with Eddie Howe in the managerial department.
Newcastle were comfortably beaten 2-0 on Saturday by Arsenal and they are now six points adrift from safety.
The bottom three is also occupied by Burnley and Norwich City, who both have nine points.
Howe’s side face both the Clarets and the Canaries in their next two matches, and have home advantage for each encounter.
The north east club’s all-time top scorer, Shearer, has placed incredible importance on Newcastle’s next two games, with their fixture list afterwards looking very bleak.
If Norwich beat Newcastle on Tuesday, they will have the most PL points in November. Look forward to Daniel Farke & Dean Smith sharing the manager of the month award for a month when they both got sacked.
— Richard Jolly (@RichJolly) November 28, 2021
“There are no ifs or buts about it – Newcastle’s season is really all about their next two games, Norwich on Tuesday and then Burnley on Saturday,” he wrote on his BBC column.
“They are both at St James’ Park, and they are both must-win matches for Eddie Howe’s side.
“But two wins are imperative because that would at least put them in touch with the teams just above the drop zone, with an extremely tough run of games to follow.
“Otherwise, Newcastle are facing a scenario where they are well adrift come the start of January, which could affect the calibre of players who arrive when the transfer window opens.
“Not many top players will want to commit to a team who, by then, might look a lot like they are going to be relegated.”
After matches against Norwich and Burnley, the Geordies face Leicester City (a), Liverpool (a), Man City (h), Man Utd (h) and Everton (a).
Meanwhile, Newcastle-linked forward Ousmane Dembele is determined to run down his Barcelona contract, according to Sport.
The France international is out of contract at the end of the season and the report claims he has rejected the best and final offer Barca have to make.
Newcastle continue to be linked with Dembele, who is aware of more lucrative offers from outside Spain.