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Statistically speaking, the Magpies are in real trouble this season.

NEWCASTLE United's top-flight status really is in peril - because in 15 of the 23 seasons since the Premier League's inception, the team propping up the table after eight games have gone on to be relegated.

That's a whopping 65%. And as our research shows, swapping managers midseason DOES give you a better chance of staying up.

Steve McClaren's side slumped to the foot of the table over the weekend following the 6-1 hammering they suffered at the hands of Manchester City at the Etihad, and they have picked up just three points from their opening eight fixtures.

However, one slight positive for the Toon faithful is that of the 13 sides to have three points or fewer when rockbottom after eight games, six of them have gone on to survive come the end of the season.

Crucially, though, four of those teams changed their manager - and all did so before November 8.

Everton (three points) sacked Mike Walker during the 1994-95 season and replaced him with Joe Royle; Ray Harford resigned from Blackburn Rovers (three points) during the 1996-97 season and Tony Parkes took over; Tottenham Hotspur (two points) parted company with Juande Ramos and brought in Harry Redknapp during the 2008-09 campaign; while Sunderland (one point) got rid of Paolo Di Canio and replaced him with Gus Poyet in 2013-14.

The two teams to survive having had three points or less after eight games without changing their manager were Southampton in 1998-99 (one point) - who kept their faith in Dave Jones - and Everton in 2005-06 (three points), who stuck by David Moyes.

On the other hand, most worrying is the fact that just three of the last 14 teams to be bottom of the Premier League after eight games have retained their top-flight status - Everton in 2005-06, Spurs in 2008-09 and Sunderland in 2013-14.

The other two teams to stay up after being bottom eight games into a Premier League season were Southampton in 1997-98 (four points) and Derby County in 2000-01 (five points), neither of whom changed their manager.

CHRIS WAUGH Teams bottom after eight games - and whether they survived or were relegated 92-93 Nottingham Forest 3pts RELEGATED 93-94 Swindon Town 3pts RELEGATED 94-95 Everton 3pts SURVIVED 95-96 Manchester City 1 point RELEGATED 96-97 Blackburn Rovers 3pts SURVIVED 97-98 Southampton 4pts SURVIVED 98-99 Southampton 1pt SURVIVED 99-00 Sheffield Wednesday 1pt RELEGATED 00-01 Derby County 5pts SURVIVED 01-02 Leicester City 5pts RELEGATED 02-03 West Ham United 5pts RELEGATED 03-04 Wolves 5pts RELEGATED 04-05 Norwich City 5pts RELEGATED 05-06 Everton 3pts SURVIVED 06-07 Charlton Athletic 3pts RELEGATED 07-08 Derby County 5pts RELEGATED 08-09 Tottenham Hotspur 2pts SURVIVED 09-10 Portsmouth 3pts RELEGATED 10-11 West Ham United 6pts RELEGATED 11-12 Blackburn Rovers 5pts RELEGATED 12-13 Queens Park Rangers 3pts RELEGATED 13-14 Sunderland 1pt SURVIVED 14-15 Queens Park Rangers 4pts RELEGATED 15-16 Newcastle United 3pts

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Oct 6, 2015
Words:472
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