Owen has Europe in Magpies' sights

Newcastle striker Michael Owen believes qualification for Europe at the end of what may yet prove a turbulent season for the club is a realistic goal.

Newcastle's revival under Joe Kinnear, which has seen the North East club move out of the relegation zone, remains at an early and vulnerable stage, although the signs look promising.

Ahead of this weekend's trip to fellow Premier League strugglers Fulham, Newcastle sit in 14th place after registering only their second successive victory of the season on Monday at home to Aston Villa.

With only one win from their previous nine games, Owen believes Monday's win has provided much-needed belief that they can finish among the qualification places for next season's UEFA Cup at least.

"We know we're a decent team and we were in a temporary position," said Owen.  "If we have a decent run to the end of the season and we'd expect that with the players we have, then fifth, sixth or seventh is by no means impossible."

Owen sees Sunday's trip to Craven Cottage as another winnable opportunity. "With our back-to-back wins, we're going there thinking we're capable of taking something from the game," he added.

"It's still early in the season, and a couple of wins shoots you up the table. The last two results have shown that - and we are confident we can continue to climb."

After Kevin Keegan's shock departure weeks into the new season, Newcastle are still looking for stability.

Club owner Mike Ashley, who decided to sell the club after fans rounded on him in the wake of Keegan's departure from St James' Park, is said to be weighing up "two very serious" offers.