AS Newcastle United’s season drifts to an inevitable conclusion, Kevin Nolan has instructed his players to do everything they can to boost the club’s bank balance.
A 1-1 draw at Blackpool further consolidated the Magpies’ Premier League status on Saturday. Europe is beyond reach, but with Newcastle continuing to pick up points while others below them do not, so it seems is the Championship.
With around £800,000 on offer for each position up the table they finish, there is plenty of financial incentive for ninth-placed United in their final four matches of the season.
While Newcastle’s hierarchy are jittery about players demanding new signings, they clearly share manager Alan Pardew’s desire for greater squad depth.
The better Newcastle’s league position, the greater the chances of adding to the £35m transfer pot granted after the sale of Andy Carroll to Liverpool.
It appeared to come into Nolan’s thinking when asked if the club had secured survival by reaching 41 points.
“Probably, probably, but we’re not resting here,” he said.
“We want to get to as many points as we can. The aim is to get above the person who is above us.
“That’s always been our goal. We’ve never talked about relegation, we’ve never talked about Europe.
“We’ve tried to keep our focus mainly on keeping in that top ten. Every time we’ve dropped out of it we seem to have put a run together.
“We want to finish high and get as much money back for the club so they can spend it in the summer.” Nolan felt fatigue played a part as Newcastle failed to hit the heights they did in Tuesday’s 0-0 draw with Manchester United, but praised the performance of referee Martin Atkinson, who rejected three Blackpool penalty appeals.