DANNY Guthrie’s confident Newcastle United won’t be looking over their shoulders for much longer.
Guthrie and his team-mates go into Saturday’s game at Stoke City still needing about six points to guarantee another season of Premier League football.
However, with United having nine games left to play, Guthrie’s confident the club can do more than just survive.
The fit-again midfielder, hoping to make his first appearance in more than a month, doesn’t see why United can’t reel in one or more teams above ninth-placed Newcastle, not least Sunderland in 7th.
Alan Pardew’s side should be fresh, having been given a few days off last week.
“The lads have had some time off over the weekend to recharge their batteries and spend some time with their families,” Guthrie said.
“It’s been back to business this week because I think we still need a couple of wins to be absolutely sure of Premier League safety.
“We’ve got some tough games coming up and they don’t get any physically tougher than Stoke away.
“We’re not saying we just want to get two wins between now and the end of the season, but if we get two wins, we can start looking forward and playing for a higher finish.
“In the last couple of games, we’ve been disappointed with the results, but we’re there or thereabouts, and people are still within catching distance.”
Meanwhile, Guthrie played 73 minutes of last week’s reserve win over Arsenal at St James’s Park after recovering from a hamstring problem.