A late Andy Carroll goal on 87 minutes saved Newcastle from a second successive Championship defeat this afternoon at Swansea City’s Liberty Stadium.
And it was hardly the performance most Newcastle fans had expected as the Newcastle side dropped their 5th point in the last two games, having gone down 3-0 at Derby County last Tuesday.
Although this point now takes Newcastle one point above WBA in the Championship to regain the top spot – this form will hardly be good enough to give Newcastle an automatic promotion spot come May.
And if we make the playoffs, then don’t bet on Newcastle not causing more heart-break for their very long suffering Newcastle fans.
It’s the worst possible time for a Newcastle side to start to lose their nerve, but that’s what seems to be what’s happening.
The first half was best forgotten in a poor game, with Swansea always looking the better side, and it was only after 56 minutes that Swansea brought some life to the game.
A cross-field ball to David Cotterill, on the left-hand edge of the penalty area saw him clear. The midfielder avoided two onrushing Newcastle defenders to put a beautiful curling shot beyond Newcastle goalkeeper, Steve Harper from 20 yards out and into the net.
On 67 minutes Leon Best was brought on for Peter Lovenkrands, and Newcastle tried to mount a come-back – but they were insipid today – again, and it was rather a lucky break when Andy Carroll equalized with just 3 minutes left on the clock.
It was Leon Best who put in a decent cross to the far post for Andy Carroll, having again lost his marker, headed back across goal and into the far corner of the net, for his ninth goal of the season, and a point for Newcastle.
So we have 60 points from 30 games, and if we keep this up we should still be able to get around 92 points, which should be good enough for automatic promotion.
But the side has looked rather inept these last couple of months, and something better than what was served up today is needed for Newcastle’s promotion charge to get on track.
Newcastle now have Coventry and Preston at home on Wednesday night and Saturday afternoon respectively, and normally you would expect 6 points in the bag.
But there’s little doubt that Newcastle are starting to struggle, and to us it seems due to a distinct lack of mental strength – maybe promotion is just too much for them.
It’s not unlike last season when in some games we should have won, we didn’t, because we didn’t have the fight and spirit necessary. And everybody kept saying there’s no way Newcatsle will go down.
And promotion is now by no means a certainty, whatever those knowledgeable pundits may say — and in any case they are nearly always wrong.
We need some Newcastle players to stand up right now and be men and show some courage and pride in adversity, and not be the wimps we’ve seen far too much of recently.
In short, this performance just wasn’t good enough.