Prior to kick-off, many dubbed Newcastle’s fixture with Brighton on the weekend as a relegation 6 pointer. Although that sentiment may have been hard to agree with at the time, the lacklustre performance the Magpies showed makes it hard to debate that we are in for anything other than a relegation fight once again this season.
A victory over the Seagulls at the weekend would have eased the pressure on unpopular Toon boss Steve Bruce, who now faces 3 daunting fixtures ahead of him in the form of Leicester away, Man United at home, and Chelsea away.
An unpopular appointment to start with, positive results were always going to be the only way Bruce could help get the fans on side, but the club could find itself in deep trouble should they fail to pick up anything in those next 3 fixtures.
Former boss Steve McClaren once famously told the Toon faithful to judge his side after 10 games of the season, and we all know how that turned out. Following the away fixture at Stamford Bridge on the 19th October, we’ll be 9 games into the new campaign, and if Bruce were to pick up nothing from the next 3 games you could imagine that the unrest from the Newcastle faithful would start to reach breaking point.
Failing to pick up anything from those 3 fixtures is a real possibility, with weekend opponents Leicester showing they are becoming a real quality side under Rodgers. Man United are going through their struggles and have been woeful on the road but will be eager for a performance, and Chelsea have some real youthful attacking quality under Frank Lampard. However, would the club yield the axe this early into a campaign? It’s hard to tell.
Newcastle United has been run with an air of unpredictability during the Ashley era with the owner hardly likely to be keen on compensating a manager who has barely stepped through the door.
We truly hope that performances on the pitch improve, with the first-half showing against Brighton easily being the worst I have seen from the lads in some time. These next 3 games are massive for the moulding of our season and for Bruce himself, as he could have many a question to answer for should results not go our way.
Here’s hoping for 3 points at Leicester on Sunday.