Most Newcastle fans will be expecting a full 3 points tomorrow afternoon when Newcastle meet Preston North End at home.
The mood on Tyneside is a lot brighter now after Newcastle’s very good 4-1 win on Wednesday night against a reasonable Coventry City side, and certainly a lot better than following Newcastle’s insipid display last Saturday at Swansea City.
One thing Newcastle must get back to in the remaining games of the season (15), is consistency and we cannot have a good performance and have that be followed by a performance in which most of the players give a good impression of being asleep.
These games are getting far too important now.
But the very fact that Preston would appear to be an easy 3 points makes us very cautious, because as we know nothing is ever easy at Newcastle – that’s for sure.
Preston were hammered 5-3 last Tuesday night at Derby County, scoring their 3rd goal in injury time, and they will be out tomorrow to be a lot more solid at the back.
But we would expect Newcastle to try to get an early break-though, but if that is not possible, then wear the opposition down in the second half, which the lads did very well on Wednesday night, after Coventry even went ahead.
Chris Hughton is looking to make some changes, but given the overall good performance of the side, we’d be very happy with an unchanged side tomorrow afternoon.
After such an improved performance on Wednesday night, there’s really no need to tinker with the team.
So we expect Chris to name the following starting line-up at around 2:15 pm tomorrow afternoon local time.
Simpson Williamson Coloccini van Aanholt
Routledge Nolan (c) Guthrie Gutierrez
Subs: Krul, Pancrate, Smith, Hall, Best, Ranger, Taylor (R)
This would be a terrific time for Newcastle to start putting a string of wins together, and 3 points is a must at home in every single one of our remaining 7 fixtures at St. James’ Park – there’s 21 points in the bag hopefully.
Keys to a victory for Newcastle tomorrow afternoon will be another good performance from the central midfield pair of Nolan and young Danny Guthrie.
Certainly Guthrie looked a good player against Coventry, spraying good passes all over the place, and this is a chance for the youngster to stake a claim to a starting position for the next few games.
And it’s now 4 games since we last had a clean sheet at Leicester City, so it would be good to keep the Preston attack at bay tomorrow.
We need a good solid defensive performance and a clean sheet – and we’re sure Steve Harper will agree with that sentiment.
Newcastle will also need to use their speedy wingers Gutierrez and Routledge tomorrow, and since they both looked good on Wednesday night, we look for a repeat performance.
But whatever happens during the game, we just have to end up with a win – that’s crucial.