We can if the comments of Lokeren’s manager, Georges Leekens, are anything to by.
The Chronicle reports that after the match, Leekens – who has previously coached Belgium as well as a host of club sides – believes that Newcastle will win promotion next season:
They had more class and technique…We played against a team and club that will be back very fast into the Premier League.
“I think when you look at the quality of their side and their coach I know I can put my money on Newcastle this season.”
Even though it was only a pre-season game, Leekens was generous in his praise. We expect Rafa and the players to talk the talk but when the opposition are positive about the future, should we take more notice?
We are a better team, no doubt about that, but is any pre-season win enough to make us think that promotion is a reality?
Bravado says, “Yes, of course – no-one else is as good” but we know the reality is that it won’t be that straightforward.
Nonetheless, I have a good feeling about next season. We seem to be coming together as a squad again, with a genuine team spirit on the pitch. A step up in opposition will tell us all we need to know.