Newcastle United owe Ashley Barnes a big thank you.

If it hadn’t been for his equaliser last night, even move panic would have clouded the north east.

After their impressive win over Everton on Sunday, Fulham had another big chance to close the gap on Newcastle.

They took the lead early in the second half, but only held on for three minutes before Barnes drew Burnley level.

(Photo by Alex Broadway/Getty Images)

The draw brings Fulham closer to Newcastle, but not as close as they would have liked.

The gap now stands at six points, but Scott Parker’s side have another huge opportunity before Newcastle next play.

They take on Sheffield Untied this weekend, the Premier League’s bottom side. The Blades have only won three games all season – the first coming against Newcastle…

With 14 games to play, there is still a long way to go in the relegation battle.

 

But the fact that some Toon fans had to cheer on Burnley last night is a sad indictment of where we are as a club.

Pundits often discuss the unrealistic ambitions of Newcastle fans. Apparently we think we should be in the Champions League and win a cup every season.

But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Fans just want a team to believe in; a team that tries.

Newcastle United v Everton FC - Premier League
(Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Instead, we’ve got a team sleepwalking towards relegation, while fans pray that other clubs do us a favour.

It’s a sad state of affairs. But last night’s result did go our way.

Steve Bruce would be complaining about more than ‘mass hysteria’ had Fulham closed the gap to four points.

But for now, Toon fans are toasting Fulham’s draw at Burnley, all the while acknowledging just how desperate that is.

‘Ashley has killed this club’

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