After giving away a couple of poor goals against Blackburn last Wednesday night, the Newcastle side did everything expected of them on Saturday in defense. as they put in a very good shift.
Mike Williamson – another solid game for the Magpies on Saturday
Newcastle have dropped to eighth in the Premier League but they are just one point out of 5th position, and are now 5 points above the relegation zone.
The other more positive way of thinking of it is that they’re only 6 points off a European Champions League position.
And that probably shows just how competitive the Premier league seems to be this season, with things seemingly having leveled off a bit between the top four or five teams and the rest of us – and that has to be good for the league.
With 18 points from 13 league games we have to be happy enough so far, in how the Newcastle team have performed in the top flight, and if anything we could have had even more points, with a little more luck, but that will all even itself out be the end of the season.
And down to earth Chris Hughton also feels the season is progressing quite well for Newcastle, as he talked to the local Evening Chronicle today:
“You have to look at it over a season.” “At this stage to have 18 points and be in the position we are in, is something we wouldn’t have expected.”
Fulham’s terrible league form away from home in the league of 24 successive games on the road without a win – now 25 games without a win – was a threat only if Newcastle became the first team to succumb to the Cottagers – but that was not to be – phew!
Chris was keen to get the defense performing a lot better after Wednesday night’s poor showing, and we were just a little surprised that neither Steven Taylor nor Sol Campbell were given an outing on Saturday – after all it was the 3rd game in just 6 days.
“The clean sheet is a big positive for us.” “It was big because of what happened against Blackburn.”“You get to the stage in the game where it’s important you do not lose, particularly after being caught late on against Blackburn.”
“A point is so valuable in this division.” “It’s a game when you could get caught on the break and end up losing.” “Certainly, the confidence has been boosted for the team defensively.”
A point may be valuable in the Premier League but there’s nothing like going all out for all 3 points, which we did on Saturday, and it’s hard to say that Chris doesn’t have Newcastle playing some good attacking football this season, as they seem to be turning into an improved side.
Where the lads will finish in the league this season is anybody’s guess, but if we stay where we are after the next 25 games, we could even be back in Europe, depending on who ends up as the winners of the two domestic cup competitions.