In their five league games so far this season, three have been very surprising results.
Chris Hughton – Newcastle need to beat Stoke on Sunday
The only results that were in any way expected were the 3-0 hiding we took at Old Trafford, and the tough fought 1-1 draw at Wolves.
But the other three results have been surprising with two of the three on the upside – Newcastle’s 6-0 mauling of Aston Villa at home, Newcastle’s surprising 2-0 defeat at home to Blackpool, and Newcastle’s unlikely 1-0 win at Goodison Park on Saturday, which was Newcastle’s first win there for nine years.
To be fair to Newcastle, both manager Hughton and captain Kevin Nolan said last week they would learn from the Blackpool defeat and come back quickly, but we hardly expected the win on Saturday, although we were always hopeful. But in truth Newcastle were the better side at Goodison, and thoroughly deserved all 3 points.
Next up is Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night, but manager Carlo Ancelotti has said he will play a number of youngsters in the Carling Cup game – but that doesn’t help too much.
Chelsea’s second team will be more than a tough test for the Newcastle side.
We don’t expect anything out of the Stanford Bridge game, and anything but a defeat would be a nice surprise, but the top priority has to be to get all 3 points at home to Stoke City next Sunday afternoon.
The game is again being televised live around the world, and two years ago in this fixture Newcastle were two goals up at half time but lost two points when former Newcastle player Abdoulaye Faye equalized in injury time.
Let’s hope Chris Hughton drums into his Newcastle players that we need to right that poor result that cost us relegation in our last Premier League season.
Stoke City are a difficult side to play, since they are always pressing, and it will not be an easy game by any means. But Newcastle will be expected to take all 3 points out of this game, especially after last time out at St. James’ Park, when the lads lost their 26 game unbeaten run, to relegation favorites Blackpool.
Consistency is key, and it’s not even the lads don’t put in the effort, as it’s very rare that Newcastle take the opposition lightly, and 3 points on Sunday afternoon against Stoke City will make more Newcastle fans true believers in their side this season.