The away games last season were the big problem for Newcastle, but this season it’s the home games that are problematic and we have already lost a whopping six league games this season and four of those have been at home.
It’s something that is starting to become a concern after we were well beaten by a good-looking Sheffield Wednesday side on Boxing Day.
On the night we were simply outplayed by the Owls – and that has to be worrying for the Geordie fans and for manager Rafa Benitez, who even seemed a little shocked after the game.
Rafa Benitez – home results a problem for the manager
It’s something that Rafa Benitez will have to use his vast experience to fix, if we are going to get promoted back to the Premier League this season.
In 12 away games Newcastle have taken a massive 28 points with 9 wins and a draw – 6 points more then the next best away side – Brighton.
But at home Brighton have the best record with 29 points from their 12 home games (9 wins and 2 draws) whereas Newcastle have only the 8th best home record and in our 11 home games we have only 7 wins but four defeats.
The whole financial situation and summer transfer window were geared to Newcastle being down below for only one season and it would be another disaster for the club if we cannot get promoted back to the Premier League in May.
Relegation was the nightmare scenario last season and not getting promoted is the nightmare scenario this season.
Here’s where we stand at the moment in second place in the league to Chris Hughton’s Brighton.
We are half way through the season and we are tracking very well with how we did seven years ago under Chris Hughton and Rafa’s Newcastle are just one point behind the team’s performance seven years ago, even after the defeat on Boxing Day.
But the big difference this time around is the number of defeats we have suffered – six in all in the league and four of those at home.
That’s a big contrast to seven years ago when we had only four defeats all season long and none – zippo – at St. James’ Park.
It’s certainly not the time to panic, but our results have certainly tailed off since we lost at home to second bottom Blackburn on 26th November to end that nine game winning streak in all competitions.
We have now lost four of the last seven games including the League Cup quarter-final at Hull City.
So we have to somehow turn things around quickly and especially at home when we will meet Nottingham Forest on Friday night.
Forest and the game against Blackburn away on Monday night sees us up against two clubs who have already beaten us in the last calendar month, so we must try to start another (long) winning streak in those two games – anything less will be disppointing.
Here are the games coming up through January:
December 2016 Newcastle v Nottingham Forest Fri 30 Dec 19:45 January 2017 Blackburn v Newcastle Mon 2 Jan 15:00 Birmingham v Newcastle Sat 7 Jan 15:00 FA Cup Brentford v Newcastle Mon 16 Jan 19:45 Newcastle v Rotherham United Sat 21 Jan 15:00 Brighton v Newcastle Sat 28 Jan 15:00
It’s extremely important that we beat Nottingham Forest on Friday night.