THOUGH not a Newcastle United supporter, I am pleased as a supporter of North-East football that they have preserved their Premiership status, albeit by the skin of their teeth.

At the same time I find the constant refrain from their supporters that they are a big club and so should not be in this lowly position somewhat baffling. Yes, they have a large vocal support and a proud history. So do many other clubs who unlike Newcastle have won silverware recently. Newcastle have not won a trophy in nearly 50 years and it is only six years since they were last relegated

This massive over-expectation leads to poor decision-making, for example the willingness to allow a perfectly good manager in Alan Pardew to move on in mid-season as much of the support was dissatisfied with their more-than-satisfactory league placing at the time.

Owner Mike Ashley states that he wants to stay at Newcastle as chairman until the club achieves Champions League qualification! A healthy dose of realism would not come amiss.

John Crick, Bishop Auckland.