I wish it were true what the Evening Chronicle is reporting today, that Newcastle are 6 points above the drop zone.
John Carver– remaining upbeat and positive – good
Unfortunately, Newcastle are on 36 points and Wolves, who we play in 9 days time, are 3rd bottom on 32 points, so we’re 4 points above the relegation zone. It does help that Newcastle have a much superior goal difference than a lot of the bottom sides, and that can be worth another point, in a close struggle.
And heaven help us if Newcastle are beaten by Wolves in the next game, because that will put Wolves just one point behind Newcastle, and the Magpies will be dragged into the relegation struggle.
The good news is that Wolves are only half the side on the road that they are at Molineux, but the worry is that last time out they did have their second away win of the season, when they beat Aston Villa 1-0 at Villa Park.
However, we have to remember that a Newcastle win on the other hand, will put us 7 points clear of Wolves, and with just 7 games to go. Phew!
John Carver, like any good coach, is keeping upbeat about the Newcastle situation, and it’s nothing that two consecutive wins at home to Wolves and away to Aston Villa can’t correct very quickly.
This is what John said today to the local Newcastle press:
“We’re going to remain positive. Nobody around the place is talking about relegation. If you start talking about it and everybody else talks about relegation it gets to you . . . it can get you down.”“So we will keep positive, work hard, remain focused and look towards the Wolves game as an opportunity for us to show what we can do.”
“Don’t get me wrong, we know we’re in a right battle. But so are 10 other teams in the division so we’re not alone in that. Two wins will make all the difference and the job for us now is to get those victories as soon as possible, starting with the Wolves game on Saturday.”
“This is the strangest Premier League season I’ve ever been involved in. I’ve never known anything like it – normally by this stage teams are cut adrift but there are something like six points separating ninth from 18th this year,”
“So it might not be that comfortable for the teams involved, but it’s exciting and it’s great for the league that it is like that. Everybody concentrates on the teams at the top and how good they are but look at the bottom – there are no bad sides in the league this year.”
“Take Wolves, for example. They’re in the relegation zone yet they’ve beaten Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United – three of the best teams in the division – this year. They’ve had a good run against those top teams but they’re still in trouble so it is unpredictable this year.”
There are only 8 points separating the bottom 11 teams in the Premier League, with Sunderland on 38 points in 9th place and Wigan bottom with 30 points.
So with 8 games to go any one of those 8 sides could end up being relegated, and if we were Sunderland we’d be worried that the slumping side have collected just 1 point from their last 6 league games.
And like Newcastle in their last 3 games, it’s not a good time to get into any kind of slump.