A goalless draw at Villa Park all but consigned Newcastle to relegation, as Sunderland picked up a vital win at home to Chelsea to move ahead of the Magpies in the race to beat the drop.

Jack Colback and Aleksandar Mitrovic missed good chances to keep Newcastle ahead going into the final weekend, but now the Geordies can be relegated on Wednesday, should Sunderland beat Everton.

Going into the match¬†the momentum was with Newcastle, but they couldn’t create enough chances to break down the league’s worst defence.

Colback’s chance was gilt-edged, but he blazed over the bar from ten yards when the goal gaped.

Newcastle didn’t have the character, quality, or sheer bollocks they needed when it mattered most, and it looks like a stint in the Championship will be the punishment.

Only a win against Tottenham, coupled with two defeats for Sunderland in the mean time, will save the Geordies, who must now look towards who’s going to be around to pick up the pieces next season.

Rafa Benitez wouldn’t be blamed for walking away, while the likes of Moussa Sissoko, Tim Krul and Gini Wijnaldum will likely have already instructed their agents to find them other clubs.

New names like Jamaal Lascelles, Adam Armstrong and Kevin Mbabu will be required for an instant return, which will be significantly tougher than it was in 2009.

There are no characters in the squad similar to Kevin Nolan, Joey Barton and Shola Ameobi to drag Newcastle by the scruffs of their necks back to the top flight, so a new core needs to be found quickly.

Colback, Jonjo Shelvey and Andros Townsend may stick around (the latter if we’re lucky), but Mike Ashley has again severely misjudged the coaches and cash needed to stay in the Premier League.

He won’t leave though, and fans are resigned to hoping that the jogging bottom selling tycoon has learned from previous fatal errors.

He’ll now miss out on the huge TV deal that kicks in next season, although there’ll be plenty of interest from TV companies lining up to laugh at the latest big boy to fall from their perch.