As expected Newcastle put themselves into 14th position in the league table yesterday with a win against the Saints, and if Spurs beat West Ham today at Upton Park by two or more goals – then Newcastle will be in 13th place.
Moussa Sissoko after scoring second goal yesterday
It wasn’t an easy game for Newcastle yesterday by any means, and Southampton played well and were a threat through 67 minutes before Cabaye converted a penalty and then an own goal ten minutes later sealed the win for Newcastle – but if Southampton play like this for the rest of the season their Premier League status should be intact.
Newcastle now have four wins and a draw in the six games since we signed five great French players last month – and the only blemish being the 2-1 defeat at Spurs when Gareth Bale proved a little too much for us, but this new Newcastle side are fighters and the lads did what they had to do yesterday for what was a fantastic 3 points for the Toon.
Alan Pardew has revealed what he told his new team before they secured our very first away win of the season at Aston Villa on 29th January -10 days after we were beaten 2-1 at home by Reading:
“When we went to Villa, I said to the team, ‘We have got 15 games to go, we have got to be in the top four in the last 15 games’, and we are, probably.” “We have had three wins out of four in the league that period and that has set us up nicely for the run-in now. “
“That’s the form we have got to maintain for the rest of the season. ” “You look at the Premier League table and we have now put ourselves in a position to attack 10th, and that was the importance of the victory today.”
“It wasn’t about anything else for me, and that’s how I tried to get the players’ mindset.” “I said to them afterwards, we should attack the top 10 now, and we can with this team.” “What a considerable difference to six weeks ago it has made, the players coming back from injury and the new players.”
It’s a short 26 days since the Villa game, and as Alan says we have taken 9 points from our last four league games, and if we can maintain around 2 points game average over the last 11 games we’ll finish with 52 points and that’s not a bad total given the form of the team from early November through the game with Reading, when we were hopeless and lost 10 of our 13 league games.
Last season 52 points was good enough for 8th position, and we’d take that this season – and then we can push on by buying two or three top players in the summer – and keeping the players we have – and we can realistically attack the top four.
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org