West Brom were the better side when they beat us 3-2 at St. James’ Park on Wednesday night, 21st December.
The great Bobby Robson has us 3rd with 69 points in 2003
And it was the pace of Shane Long that caused Newcastle loads of trouble, in addition to West Brom’s quick breakaways, so hopefully the lads will have learned from that experience.
West Brom were 1-0 and 2-1 up in that game and even though Demba Ba equalized in the 81st minute Paul Scharner scored their winner after 86 minutes and the Newcastle defending that day was not good.
The back four in that game was Danny Simpson, James Perch, Fabricio Coloccini (c) and Davide Santon, with Mike Williamson still out injured and Ryan Taylor replaced Santon at the beginning of the second half.
With Mike back in at center-back and Cheick Tiote likely to return, it’s likely that James Perch will be preferred to Davide Santon at left back, after James was the Man of the Match for Newcastle in central midfield last Sunday against Norwich.
Alan Pardew is looking for at least four more wins in our remaining 9 league games, and that would take Newcastle up to 59 points, even if we lose the other five games.
And that would be the best we’ve done since Bobby Robson led Newcastle to 3rd place in the league in 2003 with a massive 69 points, behind only Arsenal on 78 points and Manchester United on 83 points.
Bobby got 56 points in the 2003-2004 season before being sacked by then Chairman Freddy Shepherd, and Glenn Roeder led us to 58 points to finish 7th in 2006 and qualify for European competition.
Demba Ba will hopefully get back on the scoring trail on Sunday, and he had this to say about the West Brom game today:
“We’re just looking for three points and we’re going to go to West Brom believing we can get them,”
“It’s going to be very hard because we saw earlier in the season that it was a tough game and we can’t just expect to come out with the three points.”
“Yes, Europe is still achievable, we’ve got to stay focused like we have been the whole season and we’ll do everything to achieve it.”
“If we don’t then we’ll be happy because at the start of the season we just wanted to be in the top half of the table. But if we can get into Europe it would be fantastic.”
It’s simple what Newcastle have to do through the end of the season – and that’s to prepare for each of the remaining 9 games, and try to win just as many as possible.
The win against Norwich City was massive on Sunday, and the losses by both Chelsea and Liverpool showed just how important those 3 points were.