Two games in, no defeats, four points, two clean sheets and a win against our fierce local rivals. Not bad eh?
Quite simply if you’d have offered me that before the start of the season I’d have snapped your hands off. A draw against a perennial top four side currently in turmoil is something I’d have settled for from the outset, and I’d have begrudgingly settled for a draw at the unwashed so it’s nice to see us exceed my expectation on that score.
With a slight gap in the clouds that have been hanging over St James’ Park in recent weeks starting appear we have been afforded the luxury of being able to actually build on something on a number of fronts in what could be a critical couple of weeks of the season. We’ve made a decent start so why not make the most of it?
Next up it’s Scunthorpe away on Thursday evening. I expect we’ll see a change in personnel and will see players like Haris Vuckic and Dan Gosling getting a run out in what is a tricky potential banana skin of a fixture. We should have enough to get through which will be a nice little bonus of course although I’ll not be taking anything for granted. Remember Stevenage!
After that we a couple of league games which we should be looking to win. Thing is, Fulham and QPR will be thinking much the same thing. We should be looking for a win against Fulham. Yes they are a good side who are tough to beat, but we are at home and I’d nearly always say that we should be winning our home games.
If we can manage that it will send us into the international break on a high and we can look forward happily to a trip to QPR knowing that another win is achievable. In fairness though away games in the Premier League are tough so once again a draw would probably do for me.
Will it happen? Who knows, but the root formula is there and we have a run of games in which we can pull some results out of the bag. That’s on paper though, and Newcastle don’t do things on paper.
This platform I keep speaking of can be strengthened further with a couple of additions as we approach the final week of the transfer window, but it’s not just players in that should be the priority and there should be a concerted effort to keep hold of our current key players.
Bringing in players in the two positions that have been identified is a minimum and if we can do that without shedding any more first team players then I’ll be reasonably happy with the way our business has been done this window. Could we have spent more? Not bothered really, but the answer is of course yes.
I’m being hopelessly optimistic here, but it’s the fallout from the win at Sunderland that is doing it and I see no reason why we can’t win the next three games, especially as it would appear that all the players are kicking and fighting for each other at the moment.
Sure it will be tough, but it’s most certainly achievable.