We’ve looked back on our relegation season four years ago, and after a 3-2 win at West Brom, followed by a 0-0 draw at home to Everton – after Kevin Nolan had been sent off in the first half – we had 28 points from 26 games played – one point more than we have today.
AVB and Alan Pardew before the game on Saturday
But the thing that cooked our goose four years ago was the absence of manager Joe Kinnear, who had some heart problems before the West Brom game, and Chris Hughton took over the side.
But in our final 12 games we had one win when beat Middlesbrough at home, and only three draws, so a measly 6 points from our final 12 league games did us in – with Alan Shearer taking over for the final 8 games of that season.
We are now two places above the drop zone and Alan Pardew knows we are far from safe at the moment:
“For sure, we need to get a couple of wins.” “Pressure is a funny thing.” “For a big club like us it will be even more pressure, so we need to make sure we keep that distance. We knew that this was a tough game, we wanted to take something out of it.”
“We haven’t, and then we had to hope the results went our way to keep the pressure off, and a good win at Southampton at home would put us in a decent position. But we’re a long way from that still.”
“The way we look at teams, the way we set up for teams – I have to say we did a lot of work on trying to stop Gareth Bale.” “We did, but there are still moments when he creates that space. It’s his technique with the hit that’s the problem.”
“He seems to connect true whether he’s off-balance or on-balance and that’s what makes him so difficult to contend with.”
Newcastle do have some easier league games coming up, with the next four being Southampton at home, Swansea away, Stoke at home and Wigan away – and we should be able to beat all those four teams, although the game in South Wales will be tough.
But if we are to pull away from the relegation zone, and not have this season be a nail-biter down to the last few games, we have to start putting some wins together – and over the next four league games too.
Two wins and we’ll have equalled the points we got in our relegation season – it’s easy really.
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