By 90Min
September 18, 2017

BBC pundit Garth Crooks has warned Newcastle fans not to get too carried away about their current fourth place position in the Premier League table, ahead of selecting his team of the week for BBC Sport.

The Magpies have won their last three games on the trot after an initially slow start, losing their first two fixtures against Tottenham and Huddersfield, before crashing out of the League Cup against Nottingham Forest.

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The one Newcastle player that made his team of the week selection was captain Jamaal Lascelles, who found the net in the 2-1 win over Stoke on Saturday, which took his side into the Champions League places and within four points of top spot in the league.

Far from downplaying this Newcastle side's change in fortunes, Crooks has described their efforts as "heroic", but foresees troubled times ahead if Benitez isn't allowed to bolster his options in the January transfer window.  

Newcastle owner Mike Ashley is notorious for giving his managers little funds to work with, which has caused tensions in the past with the men who have held the reins at the club, as well as providing a source of frustration for the fans.

Crooks wrote: "This is heroic stuff from this Newcastle squad but they will soon run out of gas. It is imperative Rafa Benitez is allowed to continue developing this team in January because this bubble will burst."

There were rumours over the summer that Benitez was growing increasingly frustrated at the lack of support in the boardroom when it came to securing his transfer targets, and the man himself has done little to quash any of the speculation - if anything he has helped fuel it.

Only time will tell if Crooks' prediction will come to fruition. Next up for the Toon is a trip to Brighton on Sunday, to face the team they overcame in the battle for the Championship title last campaign.

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