Ex-Newcastle United ace sees top 7 finish

St James Park

Former Newcastle United defender Olivier Bernard feels the club's French contingent can guide them to a top seven finish this season.

Magpies' new director of football Joe Kinnear was only able to bring in one senior signing - Loic Remy - on loan from QPR, during a frustrating summer transfer window for the St James' Park faithful.

However, Bernard saidthat keeping hold of key players such as Yohan Cabaye and Hatem Ben Arfa was also important: 'I wouldn’t be surprised to see Newcastle finish in the top seven.

'They have kept their key players, and the French players who signed in January now have a pre-season under their belt.

'A lot depends on if the players can stay fit. If they can, then Newcastle can definitely have a good season'.

Bernard, who played more than 100 games at left-back during Sir Bobby Robson's tenure at Newcastle, featured in a charity football match on Wednesday night celebrating goalkeeper Steve Harper's 20 years at the club.

The Frenchman lined up alongside the likes of Alan Shearer, Les Ferdinand, David Ginola and Joey Barton in the testimonial clash against an AC Milan XI led by Italian legend Franco Baresi.

Bernard paid tribute to Harper, and thanked the 50,793 Toon fans who turned out to bid farewell to the veteran goalkeeper.

'It was a special occasion and an honour to be part of it. I'm delighted for Harper. He deserves it', he said.

'It was a very good night and thanks to all the Newcastle fans for their support'.

Newcastle travel to Aston Villa on Saturday, looking to build on their 1-0 win against Fulham before the international break.

Alan Pardew’s men have had a steady start to the new season, picking up four points from their first three Premier League games, and beating Morecambe in the second round of the Capital One Cup.

Do you agree with Olivier Bernard ? Can Newcastle finished in the top seven ?

image: © StartAgain

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