Confidence is a huge thing in any sport and in football we have seen Newcastle in one of their worst performances of any season in the Premier League – apart from our relegation year of 2009.
Newcastle players have lacked confidence all season long, because we started it off with just 3 points from the first 8 games and then in the changeover of managers from Steve McClaren to Rafa Benitez earlier this year we picked up juts one point in seven games.
And it didn´t help the players earlier in the season when they would look to the touchline at the head coach, who often was holding his head in his hands in despair.
That would not have sparked any confidence among our players.
Moussa Sissoko in action against Crystal Palace
Newcastle have essentially been in the bottom four all season in the Premier League for the first time ever.
Since the seven games with just one point, we have gained 8 points from the last four games so there is hope yet, with the final two games being at Aston Villa tomorrow and then Spurs at home a week on Sunday.
This is what captain Moussa Sissoko has said today in the Chronicle:
“It was the confidence. We have the quality and we have the same players, it’s a confidence thing.”
“When you are losing every week you’re in a bad mood and it’s difficult. When you try something in a game when it’s like that or take a shot, you might miss because your head is not very well.”
“Now, we are much better and when you look at the Premier League table we’ve won some games. Everyone is finding it easier and that’s good. That’s football.”
“When you are winning you just want the next game to be as soon as possible. We know we are still in a bad moment but we just want to play.”
“We had a good week this week and we trained very well. We have another training session before we travel to Aston Villa.“
“It’s going to be a tough game but we’ll do everything we can to come away with the three points.”
We have played 10 games away from home this year and we have lost 9 of them and drew 2-2 at Liverpool last time out in an away game.
So a win at Villa Park is by no means a certainty – and Aston Villa will see this game as an opportunity to get their first win in 12 games in their final home game of the season.
They have lost the last 11 games.
But Newcastle simply have to win tomorrow if we are to have any chance of survival in the Premier League this season.