Our poll before each Newcastle game gives us a sense of the expectation level of a game and if there´s a high percentage of fans think we will win the game and we lose it – especially with a poor performance – we have an idea of what the reaction will be – not good.
Last Sunday against Sunderland about 70% of fans thought we would win the game which was high given we had lost the previous five games and hadn´t turned up to most of them.
This decision gave the game to Sunderland last Sunday
Overturned by the FA last week but the damage was already done
But last week´s 3-0 defeat was different in that the team did show up for the game and completely dominated ion the first half but then luck turned against us and Colo was adjudged to have fouled Fletcher and the referee gave a penalty and sent Coloccini off.
Steven Fletcher is that big lad up front for the Black Cats who allowed a little nudge from Coloccini to send him flying.
In short the referee´s actions gave the game to Sunderland and another unusual aspect of the game was that not one player on the home side was booked.
The reaction after the game was a little muted – not in the pain of the defeat or the referee´s poor decisions – but we knew our lads gave it all they had last Sunday.
Today there are 60% think we can win against Stoke at home and with Stoke having had to play extra time last Tuesday night in their League Cup win at home to Chelsea – maybe the players will be a little tired – maybe?
That´s something that Steve McClaren yesterday in his news conference didn´t think would be a factor in the game.
The question is whether Newcastle can put in another good performance like the first half last week – but do that over the full 90 minutes.
Three in five fans think we will win this game – and with only one win in the first 10 games – we really do need all 3 points.
If we don´t win today there will be disappointment – the level of that disappointment determined by how well we play and the circumstances of the game.
We need the win.