After a slow start to their league season, the Magpies have recovered and have climbed up to sixth spot in the table.


However, their Champions League campaign is yet to gather pace and are on the verge of being knocked out of the tournament following back-to-back losses against Borussia Dortmund.




Brown believes that the priority for Newcastle should be to finish in the top four and in the process qualify for the Champions League for the second season running.


That in no way though means that Howe’s team will give up on their efforts in the Champions League and they have to keep going in spite of being placed in an incredibly tough group, Brown insists.



“I think the priority for Newcastle this season is to finish in the Champions League places – that’s a given”, Brown wrote in a BBC column.


“It’s been an incredibly tough group but they have to keep going with it. You never know.



“After European competition, you might say what is the priority? Do some of those games affect the load and therefore impact Premier League games?


“At that point, he [Eddie Howe] has to make a decision.


“They have lost a lot of players with injuries and the [Sandro] Tonali situation is so big as well for them.


“It was a slow start and they had to adapt with Champions League.


“Now in the Premier League, they are pushing towards the top four and are a lot closer than they were at the start of the season.


“Expectation levels are high now so they have to continue until that Champions League group is over and then go from there.”


Newcastle are due to visit strugglers Bournemouth in the Premier League on Saturday evening.