Steve Harper has put a dose of reality on Newcastle’s situation in the league table this morning, and is right when he says the job of staying up in the Premier League is still not complete.
Steve Harper – still work to be done
After Wolves drew 3-3 at home to Spurs yesterday and seemed to have a goal ruled out for nothing late in the game, Newcastle are still 6 points above the drop zone, but have dropped 4 points and 6 points behind Bolton and Liverpool respectively, who both won over the weekend.
Wolves visit St. James’ Park on 2nd April, and they have the worst away record in the league with just one win, two draws and 11 defeats on their travels, so if we can’t get a win in that game then we could be dragged into the relegation fight.
Sunderland are just two points above us, so if we can overtake them, we’d be in 8th place, but we do expect Everton to move further up the table and maybe move above us too by the end of the season.
But a top half finish would still be great, and any more talk of European competition is probably just a pipe dream.
This is what Steve Harper said about the situation in the league today:
“It is so close this season,” “That’s why Saturday was a big opportunity for us. To be sitting on 39 points and to be in that top bracket, we’ve always known until we’ve got more points mathematically than the bottom three what could happen.”
“The job’s still there to be done. That very much remains the case.” “The bottom three are a little bit closer to us so there’s still a lot of work to be done in the last nine games.”
“We knew at the start of the season there would be highs and lows and difficult patches,” “People said at the start of the year it would be our home form that would keep us up but it’s not worked out like that. We’ve improved our away form immensely.”
“But we’ve got to get this monkey off our backs, not being able to win at 3 o’clock on a Saturday. It’s an incredible statistic and the longer it goes on, people are going to talk about it more and more.”
“It is only people outside the club who have ever assumed we would be okay from relegation,” “The players take nothing for granted and we’ve got nine games left to get as many points as possible.”
It was a big chance lost on Saturday, but it seemed like Newcastle just didn’t have enough class and creativity in the side to get that equalizing goal, which would have been good if only that it would have prevented a side lower than us in the league, from gaining three points on us at St. James’ Park.
Teams are supposed to do better at home than away, but our home form has not been too good at all this season, and in fact we’ve done better away from home than at home with 5 away wins but a meager four wins at home.
Next up is a tough game at Stoke City in two weeks, and that will not be too easy either, but we have to take something out of that game, and hopefully we’ll have both Jose Enrique and Joey Barton back fit by then to help us do that.
Steve Harper was our Man of the Match on Saturday with 38% of the vote, and made some excellent saves to keep Newcastle in the game, and if you haven’t voted yet you can do so on the home page.
Comments always welcome, but please respect other readers’ opinions.