Newcastle now have 9 games to play in their first Championship season since being relegated, but automatic promotion is still not certain.
Chris Hughton – needs four home wins out of four for promotion
Of the 9 games to go, 5 of them are away from home, and as we witnessed on Saturday, Newcastle are only half the team they are at home.
The 5 away games are against Doncaster, Peterborough, Reading, Plymouth nd QPR. Only Peterborough looks like a game we should win, and would expect Hughton to field a team that attack right from the start.
But most of the other games are doubtful, although Newcastle should be able to beat Plymouth Argyle, although they couldn’t manage that at Portman Road in the FA Cup 3rd round in early January, when we could only draw 0-0.
The four home games we have left are against Nottingham Forest, Sheffield United, Blackpool and Ipswich Town.
All of those games are ones the lads can win, and a week on Monday it promises to be some game against Nottingham Forest, where it could come down to that game that propels Newcastle United to the Premiership with a win.
However, we shouldn’t forget that Forest dismantled WBA 3-1 at the Hawthorns back on January 8th, and that score was complimentary to WBA, who were torn apart by Forest who were 3-0 up after 56 minutes, before letting up a little.
But Forest seem to have gone off the boil since then, especially away from home.
But let’s assume Newcastle can indeed win all of their four remaining home games, and that would give us 12 more points and put Newcastle on 89 points, even if we lose all 5 away games, which is unlikely to say the least.
Indeed, if the lads can do that Newcastle will be promoted automatically.
Nottingham Forest currently have 67 points with 8 games left, and if they win all 7 games, apart from the Newcastle loss, they will add 21 points and will end up with only 88 points, one point less than Newcastle.
So there you have it – win all our remaining four home games and the lads get automatic promotion.
The other way to put it is that Newcastle now need 5 wins in their last 9 games, assuming they lose to Forest next Monday night.
That’s because that gives Newcastle 92 points, and if Forest win all of their remaining 8 games, including at Newcastle, the best they can do is to get to 91 points.
Howay the Lads!!