Former Newcastle and Super Eagles striker Shola Ameobi remains confident the Magpies will stay up this season, despite Rafael Benitez's side placed 19th in the Premier League table, one point behind Sunderland and two adrift of Norwich in a three-way battle for top-flight survival.
The Magpies played out a 1-1 draw with Champions League semi-finalists Manchester City on Tuesday.
"I still believe that the club will be in the Premier League come the end of the season," Ameobi, who played for Nigeria at the 2014 World Cup, told Press Association Sport of Newcastle's survival chances.
"With the manager and the quality that's there, it's just about putting it together.
"I'm all for all the north-east clubs being in the same league, Middlesbrough included. Those are the games that you look for at the start of the season.
"That adds to our season, having the two Sunderland games there. The fans look forward to those games and I'm a big fan of all the north-east teams doing well.
"Ideally Newcastle are at the top of that pile, which we have been in recent years. It will mean Sunderland and Norwich going down but my allegiance isn't to any of those teams, it's to Newcastle first and foremost.
"It would be unfortunate for them but all that matters in terms of being a fan is that Newcastle stay in the league."