But he argues they must spend big to bridge the gap.
He told the Evening Chronicle: "It all depends, bearing in mind you probably have to spend £15-20m to stand still.
"Newcastle have spent in January, but hopefully they'll spend again in the summer.
"When you look at the season they had last time, nobody ever really expected them to replicate it again.
"Probably in the league, though, we expected to be in a better position than we are. That'll all be forgotten if they go on and do well in the Europa League."