BBC Radio Newcastle's Matthew Raisbeck said "it may well be that the Europa League is more realistic" after back-to-back defeats by Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League.
Though reaching the last 16 of the Champions League looks difficult on paper, Raisbeck said the Magpies could draw inspiration from their 2002-03 campaign, where they made it out of the group despite three defeats in six games.
"The two matches against Dortmund are a reminder of how tough, and maybe how cruel, the Champions League can be," Raisbeck told the Total Sport Newcastle United Podcast after Tuesday's game at Signal Iduna Park.
"Though they aren’t out of it yet, they are behind Dortmund now by three points and way behind on the head-to-head situation, having lost home and away to the Germans.
"But they’ve come back before in Champions League history, famously and memorably. It was a long time ago, but Newcastle set the standard for coming back - and it was a worse position than this in 2002.
"It can be done. Other clubs have done it. They’re not out of it, but we’ll see what happens in the remaining two matches.
"It was never going to be settled, but another defeat does make that chance of reaching the knockout phase that little bit harder."