Birmingham 0-0 Newcastle: How yesterday’s ‘frustrating’ draw proved to be a precious point

 

In the moments following Newcastle United’s 0-0 draw away to Birmingham City yesterday, it was evident across social media, that several fans were left disappointed by the result. Given results elsewhere, however, it could be argued that this point has turned out to be a precious one for The Magpies.

Huddersfield’s Friday night hammering away to Bristol City handed Newcastle an early boost this weekend, providing us with an opportunity to extend the gap to third to 9 points with a victory at St.Andrew’s. While I appreciate a win yesterday would have been huge, a draw was far from disastrous, leaving me slightly baffled to see several fans reacting with such negativity.

Newcastle headed into the game-week 6 points ahead of Huddersfield. While we may not have got all three points, our result bettered that of Huddersfield’s, seeing us extend the gap to third to 7.

Benitez shared this sentiment in his post match interview:

 “There are eight games left and we have one more point than before and Huddersfield lost.”

Rafa makes a simple yet valid point, however, this mentality clearly wasn’t shared with all Newcastle fans, making me wonder if several fans have become more consumed by the possibility of Brighton pipping us to the title than Huddersfield to the automatic promotion slots.

While I understand fan’s desire and expectation to win the league title, given the clubs far superior resources, we must not lose sight of what really matters, which is securing our place in the top two to guarantee a return to the top flight.

No sooner had our game finished, Brighton took on Leeds in the late kick off at Elland Road, with Chris Hughton’s men knowing a win would see them return to the summit following Newcastle’s draw earlier in the day. Leeds, however, had other ideas as they executed a solid 2-0 win to deny Brighton a return to the top of the table.

Newcastle’s draw therefore saw them gain a point on both Brighton and Huddersfield this weekend. While it will be argued that Rafa’s men should be beating a struggling Birmingham side, I don’t see how yesterday can be deemed a ‘bad result’ given it only served extend our lead over our two biggest promotion rivals (who both lost).

It is also worth remembering that this all came after Newcastle lined up without Clark, Shelvey and Gayle yesterday – the undoubted spine of the team (a point well made by The Chronicle’s Mark Douglas below).

I understand fans are anxious to see Newcastle finish the job, with the last three results doing little to ease those nerves, as consecutive 0-0 draws on the road have fallen either side of a convincing home defeat to Fulham, meaning The Magpies are without a win in three.

We must not however let minor blips derail our thoughts, as the Championship season provides a long, hard, battle which Newcastle remain well on their way to conquering.

So, let’s regain some perspective and realise that while Newcastle may have only drawn yesterday, we’ve still managed to come out of the weekend as winners, gaining what could be a valuable point over Huddersfield and Brighton.

(Updated Championship table going into the International break)

 

About Olly Hawkins

Born in Gateshead, Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

40 thoughts on “Birmingham 0-0 Newcastle: How yesterday’s ‘frustrating’ draw proved to be a precious point

  1. Yes Olly, a most welcome point away but defo 2 dropped for me. To be fair the keeper made some excellent saves yesterday and despite the draw we had the better of it. I will be really peeved if we fail to beat Wigan at SJP though , they are very poor. Likewise Burton who managed to go from a 3 goal advantage to lose 3.5 yesterday. Burton obviously know how to score , just seemingly can’t defend scoring 39 yet shipping a whopping 53 to date. These next 2 home games will really shape our run in, 2 in the space of a week where we can really open up a gap if we are clever enough . Two wins puts us on 84, get another 2 after that and it’s ours for sure I reckon. 4 wins out of 8 with who we face should be achievable, though it may take 5 depending on other results.

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  2. It is another point closer but really we should be putting teams as poor as that to the sword. The mitigating factors are that we started the game with half our best team absent. Had Yedlin, Shelvey, Gayle, Clark and Hayden all been fit we would have walked it.
    People going crazy about the incorrect decision on Ritchie’s ‘goal’. Occurred to me it was given for a foul on the goalkeeper.

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  3. It’s all about the context of a result for me at this stage. Huddersfield and Brighton both lost so a draw still see’s us gain on both. We were without several key players too don’t forget.Yes we should be putting away Birmingham but at this stage of the season, we’d be crazy to call this a ‘bad weekend’ given it’s actually only served to see us gain another point on our two closest rivals!

    Time for perspective folks.

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  4. Wonder if Hayden will be ready to return after the break? I hate these breaks does your heed in more so when you have to watch the crap England dish up normally.
    OLLY the way I see it is its one game closer to the PL and still top if only just,I bet the chasing teams wish they were in our place,if we cannot win our next two games then I would worry,would really help if bloody Colback was missing

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  5. I agree that yesterday was disappointing but I also emphasise with Rafa when he said that people just expect us to win away from home now. I think if we’d won more home games, people would have been happier with the result yesterday. I suppose the positive was that Brighton and Huddersfield lost and we gained a point. There are two ways to look at that; was is a point gained or the opportunity to put a nine point gap missed?
    The way I look at it is that it was a game closer to the finish line and there are now only eight games left, which is not a huge amount. Despite our big squad I think the three difficult away games has taken a lot out of us and some are probably secretly carrying knocks. Dummett was until it was announced to the whole world by Chris Colman, the Wales manager. Beating Huddersfield and to a lesser extent Brighton, is what I think will get us promoted, the Fulham & Birmingham games were just an opportunity missed to put extra gloss on it.
    I don’t normally like the international breaks but I think this one couldn’t have come at a better time for us. We don’t have that many players being called up these days either, which suits me just fine. Two weeks now to rest some of the players carrying knocks and get Shelvey and Gayle back as best we can.
    The two home games against struggling teams will then be must win, Wigan are nearly down but Burton are still fighting for their lives so they won’t be easy games. We need a change of attitude at home and to really be more positive. Win those games and we go in to the tricky games at Sheffield Wednesday and at home to Leeds under less pressure. Should the worst happen in these four games, I’m still confident that we will go up as we play four teams after that with nothing to play for (except taking out scalp of course).
    Really we should be positive, remember that Brighton traditionally ‘chock’ at the end (their away form isn’t great either). Huddersfield will not win every game between now and the end of the season and the likes of Reading, Leeds & Sheffield Wednesday have all not been able to really chase us.
    It just feels like we are limping over the finish line rather than crossing it with style and swagger, but remember where we were 12 months ago and the mess Rafa inherited, he was never going to fix the club in such a short space of time. What happens next is even more critical but that is to discuss another day.

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  6. Kimtoon:
    Still feeling the love for Jack I see Ice

    Well Ime sick of playing with ten men,other players trying to cover for his short comings,just hope Hayden is back after the break

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  7. DJG:
    I agree that yesterday was disappointing but I also emphasise with Rafa when he said that people just expect us to win away from home now. I think if we’d won more home games, people would have been happier with the result yesterday. I suppose the positive was that Brighton and Huddersfield lost and we gained a point. There are two ways to look at that; was is a point gained or the opportunity to put a nine point gap missed?
    The way I look at it is that it was a game closer to the finish line and there are now only eight games left, which is not a huge amount. Despite our big squad I think the three difficult away games has taken a lot out of us and some are probably secretly carrying knocks. Dummett was until it was announced to the whole world by Chris Colman, the Wales manager. Beating Huddersfield and to a lesser extent Brighton, is what I think will get us promoted, the Fulham & Birmingham games were just an opportunity missed to put extra gloss on it.
    I don’t normally like the international breaks but I think this one couldn’t have come at a better time for us. We don’t have that many players being called up these days either, which suits me just fine. Two weeks now to rest some of the players carrying knocks and get Shelvey and Gayle back as best we can.
    The two home games against struggling teams will then be must win, Wigan are nearly down but Burton are still fighting for their lives so they won’t be easy games. We need a change of attitude at home and to really be more positive. Win those games and we go in to the tricky games at Sheffield Wednesday and at home to Leeds under less pressure. Should the worst happen in these four games, I’m still confident that we will go up as we play four teams after that with nothing to play for (except taking out scalp of course).
    Really we should be positive, remember that Brighton traditionally ‘chock’ at the end (their away form isn’t great either). Huddersfield will not win every game between now and the end of the season and the likes of Reading, Leeds & Sheffield Wednesday have all not been able to really chase us.
    It just feels like we are limping over the finish line rather than crossing it with style and swagger, but remember where we were 12 months ago and the mess Rafa inherited, he was never going to fix the club in such a short space of time. What happens next is even more critical but that is to discuss another day.

    Spot on mate

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  8. I said this yesterday, but the other teams in the top 6 should be feeling as much pressure as us, if not more. As DJG said, Brighton have choked before and then missed out in the playoffs. The other teams are not that great, with small budgets. They should be very worried about next year. Why?

    Derby, Villa and Norwich all have new Managers who are decent. The latter two also have ongoing parachute payments. These 3 and the relegated teams will all have MUCH bigger budgets than the current top 6, barring us. I know money isn’t everything, but with a decent manager and good support it should give these teams a massive head start.

    I expect the relegated teams to be Mackems, Boro and Hull. They all have better squads than the current top of the Championship, probably even the Mackems. The parachute payments are massive, about 100 million pounds over 3-4 years.

    Mackems are really the only team that is still fcked with big debts to a disinterested owner and few saleable assets. If they sack the dour Scot or if he cannot regain his enthusiasm, they could do a Leeds.

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  9. Mackems are really the only team that is still fcked with big debts to a disinterested owner and few saleable assets. If they sack the dour Scot or if he cannot regain his enthusiasm, they could do a Leeds.

    that would be real nice and they could re-sign Colback 😆 😆

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  10. Ice: I think you might have a secret schoolboy crush on Colback 🙂 You know, when you say you don’t like a girl so often that it is obvious you really do. Maybe not 🙂

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  11. I did see reports that Diame did well in midfield yesterday. However, the worrying thing was that Colback stayed on for the full game. But…

    Diame has proved not to be a very good number 10 and we have better options there with Perez and Murphy. He has played most of his career as a midfielder and therefore should be competition for Colback and Hayden when he returns. Him and Shelvey should bring much more balance to the midfield as Colback brings nothing except chasing players around but that is offset by the fouls he commits in doing so.

    Do we really need a defensive midfielder to start against Wigan and Burton at home? That would give Hayden 3 weeks to get fit for, on paper, more difficult games.

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  12. DJG:
    I agree that yesterday was disappointing but I also emphasise with Rafa when he said that people just expect us to win away from home now. I think if we’d won more home games, people would have been happier with the result yesterday. I suppose the positive was that Brighton and Huddersfield lost and we gained a point. There are two ways to look at that; was is a point gained or the opportunity to put a nine point gap missed?
    The way I look at it is that it was a game closer to the finish line and there are now only eight games left, which is not a huge amount. Despite our big squad I think the three difficult away games has taken a lot out of us and some are probably secretly carrying knocks. Dummett was until it was announced to the whole world by Chris Colman, the Wales manager. Beating Huddersfield and to a lesser extent Brighton, is what I think will get us promoted, the Fulham & Birmingham games were just an opportunity missed to put extra gloss on it.
    I don’t normally like the international breaks but I think this one couldn’t have come at a better time for us. We don’t have that many players being called up these days either, which suits me just fine. Two weeks now to rest some of the players carrying knocks and get Shelvey and Gayle back as best we can.
    The two home games against struggling teams will then be must win, Wigan are nearly down but Burton are still fighting for their lives so they won’t be easy games. We need a change of attitude at home and to really be more positive. Win those games and we go in to the tricky games at Sheffield Wednesday and at home to Leeds under less pressure. Should the worst happen in these four games, I’m still confident that we will go up as we play four teams after that with nothing to play for (except taking out scalp of course).
    Really we should be positive, remember that Brighton traditionally ‘chock’ at the end (their away form isn’t great either). Huddersfield will not win every game between now and the end of the season and the likes of Reading, Leeds & Sheffield Wednesday have all not been able to really chase us.
    It just feels like we are limping over the finish line rather than crossing it with style and swagger, but remember where we were 12 months ago and the mess Rafa inherited, he was never going to fix the club in such a short space of time. What happens next is even more critical but that is to discuss another day.

    If the club brought in a couple players in the winter as Rafa wanted, we would finish the line with style and swagger – i have no doubt about it.

    However, the fatigue and injury hurting Newcastle’s form is also doing the same job to our rivals. Rafa is doing his best with what he has, and the players are doing their best. That is why although we are limping over, we are still in the front. Agree that the international break can’t come in at a better time. The players need the break to catch their breath. And after the break, it will be final decision time of the season.

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  13. On Olly’s article, yes sometimes an away point can be a good thing even against a crap team. Just look at our away record before Rafa. It didn’t matter who we played we were still likely to lose. Mackems are a case in point.

    And us and the Mackems both got a point yesterday but there is a massive difference. Ours gets us closer to promotion because of the performance of other teams and theirs gets them closer to relegation because a point is not enough in their position.

    So a point is not always a bad result or a good result. It is all relative.

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  14. Just look at the table as well lads and lasses. If Huddersfield falter, as I expect them to (they have important injuries to a weak squad) then there is a gap of 9 points to Leeds with 8 games to go.

    I really can’t see them catching us, especially if we don’t lose our home game against them.

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  15. Sheffield are 16 points behind us and Reading are 11. With 8 games to go that rules them out as serious contenders for automatic promotion. That leaves Leeds IMHO and I think their chances are slim to none of catching us.

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  16. Then there is Fulham. They were world beaters according to some after a good performance against us. And then what happens – a home draw and loss. There was a poll after that game where only 33% of NUFC fans thought we would get automatic promotion. I am sorry to say it, but some NUFC fans are idiots. The odds of automatic promotion were overwhelmingly still in our favour even after that result and they could not see the forest for the trees.

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  17. Eric Sykes:
    On Olly’s article, yes sometimes an away point can be a good thing even against a crap team. Just look at our away record before Rafa. It didn’t matter who we played we were still likely to lose. Mackems are a case in point.

    And us and the Mackems both got a point yesterday but there is a massive difference. Ours gets us closer to promotion because of the performance of other teams and theirs gets them closer to relegation because a point is not enough in their position.

    So a point is not always a bad result or a good result. It is all relative.

    The point is proved in that Huddersfield game where B/city were a lot thought they would beat them or at worse get a point,but they got thumped,just goes to show nothing is cast in stone in the ccc

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  18. We should over hype Colback. Make him out to be a amazing player so some idiot club puts in a 30 million pound bid for him.

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  19. Eric mentioned above that all the top teams will be feeling pressure and I have to agree. The only thing I’d add, is that I would rather have the pressure of being top and feeling it from below, than the pressure of being out of the automatic places and desperately needing to try a get higher up… 😁

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  20. Andy The Magpie:
    Hey guys,

    Site going under minor maintenance. Your patience appreciated.

    looking good Andy, like the bold name print and I am typing in normal size print again 🙂

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  21. Woohooo! I’m not, my text is still small for some reason! :mrgreen:

    You’ll see the home page looks a little different now folks. FYI things will still work exactly the same, all main thread articles go under featured at the top. The latest post will be the one on the far left. Of course we will always post a link in here as well when a new thread goes live.

    Kimtoon: looking good Andy, like the bold name print and I am typing in normal size print again 🙂

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  22. Andy the Magpie: the new format looks good. I can see where your going with having a news section as NUFC.com have their fingure on the pulse but few updates. Ed writes 6 in the middle of the night in the USA and is hard to follow and the Chronicle is the Chronicle, with access to NUFC and the best they can do is 5 things we learned and Lee Ryder’s player ratings.

    One suggestion, which you obviously don’t have to take. Under “Features” you might want to add “and Readers Comments”. I am not sure if people who are new to the site or returning after a while will know where to post. Not everyone reads the full article. In fact, I skim a few of them and come back later and read them.

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  23. What I am saying is that if you still want this to be a Blog people have to know where to Blog.

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  24. Andy The Magpie:
    City dominated opening 30 mins from what I saw

    They did mate but pool squandered two or three gifts last 15mins and City should of got the winner very late on.

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  25. Agreed. Maybe I could call the section something like ‘Featured Articles & Discussion’?

    Eric Sykes:
    What I am saying is that if you still want this to be a Blog people have to know where to Blog.

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  26. Whatever you want Andy mate, it is your blog. Just something to direct people to the discussion/comments area.

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  27. Eric Sykes:
    Then there is Fulham. They were world beaters according to some after a good performance against us. And then what happens – a home draw and loss. There was a poll after that game where only 33% of NUFC fans thought we would get automatic promotion. I am sorry to say it, but some NUFC fans are idiots. The odds of automatic promotion were overwhelmingly still in our favour even after that result and they could not see the forest for the trees.

    NUFC fans have been though a lot in the last a few years, So I don’t blame them for being pessimism. Hopefully the future will be bright.

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