Didi Hamann on where he expects Newcastle to finish this season

St James Park

Newcastle United have improved of late.

Former Liverpool midfielder Dietmar Hamann says Newcastle United should finish in the top 12 in the Premier League table this season but doesn’t rule out a top ten finish, he told Breathe Sport.

The Magpies have made an inconsistent start to the campaign, first enduring an eight-game winless run before ending that pattern with a whopping 6-2 victory over Norwich City.

Heavy defeats to Leicester City and Crystal Palace ensued, but back-to-back wins over Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur have once again raised spirits on Tyneside.

And now Hamann, a former critic of Steve McClaren’s side, believes the Magpies should finish in the top 12 but doesn’t rule out breaking in to the top half.

"They have some excellent players; Wijnaldum has had a good season and Rob Elliot has done a great job stepping in. With the players they have, Newcastle should finish in the top 12,” he said.

“If they can avoid too many injuries and put in a few more performances like they have in the past couple, they are capable of finishing in the top 10."

In spite of their frustrating start to the campaign, Newcastle’s business throughout the summer in the transfer market now appears to be bearing fruit as the players seem more settled.

The Magpies raised questions by spending big on talents such as Georginio Wijnaldum, Chancel Mbemba and Aleksandar Mitrovic but the doubts are now starting to be erased.

A draw against Aston Villa in their latest outing may not be the best result for Newcastle, yet it move them one point clearer of rivals Sunderland and managerless Swansea City.

Steve McClaren's side host Everton on Boxing Day before finishing 2015 with a trip to West Bromwich Albion - two games where a return of four points would be most welcome.

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