Newcastle’s failure to qualify for next season’s Champions League could signal the end of Sir Bobby Robson’s managerial reign at St James Park.

Robson was devastated after the 3-3 draw with Southampton ended his side’s hopes of Champions League football next season. Inevitably questions are now being asked about whether the 71-year-old will still be in charge next season.

“I’m hurting very much – but I can’t complain about my players,’ said Robson.

“It was one of the most thrilling games of football in the Premiership this season – but it didn’t go our way.

“It’s been such an unlucky night for us – but you get nothing for bad luck. It might be a valuable point in the end but it may not be good enough either.”

The draw means that Newcastle travel to Liverpool for their last game of the season, needing to record a better result than fifth-placed Aston Villa achieve in their final league game against Manchester United.

Whatever happens, questions will be asked about whether Robson will see out the final year of his contract.

Reagrding his own position and those of some of the club’s senior players, Robson added: “Alan Shearer and Gary Speed still have a year to go.

“I have got about 33, although that could be minutes. But, no, we are going to keep giving it everything.”

“Sixth place would be a disaster in a way, after finishing third last year and fourth before that,’ acknowledged Robson.

“We’ve come a long way from four years ago and I hope our supporters remember that.”

“If we had played like this away for most of the season we would be laughing – but ‘if’ is the biggest word in football.

“We’ve played poorly away from home and not taken our chances – and giving away silly goals has cost us dearly in the end.’