Higginbotham makes a valid point when comparing Norwich and Newcastle's survival chances

Norwich City, Sunderland and Newcastle United are in a relegation scrap.

Danny Higginbotham has suggested on Twitter that Norwich City and Sunderland gave themselves a fighting chance of survival compared with Newcastle United due to their January transfer business.

Both Norwich and Sunderland strengthened their respective back fours in January with the addition of a leading centre-back - Timm Klose joining the Canaries and the Black Cats signing Lamine Kone.

Both teams have since kept clean sheets of late and picked up valuable points on the road.

Newcastle, however, opted to bring in two midfielders and a winger in Andros Townsend and the gamble seemingly hasn’t paid off with the team looking unbalanced and vulnerable at the back.

Writing on Twitter following yet another defeat, Higginbotham feels the Tyneside club’s January dealings are much to blame for their predicament as he claims a strong defence ultimately keeps teams up.

The Magpies were defeated 3-1 at Southampton, their ninth straight Premier League defeat on the road.

It leaves Rafa Benitez’s men in 19th position in the table, six points behind Norwich and safety. With only seven points taken on the road and a goal difference of -27, their position is of little surprise.

Sunderland face Leicester City on Sunday with the chance to move to within one point of Norwich, and the Black Cats will be hoping defensive pair Jan Kirchhoff and Kone can make a big difference.

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for NEWCASTLE UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch