Newcastle start off 2017 with a trip to Ewood Park and Blackburn Rovers, who haven’t won a game since they beat Newcastle 1-0 at St. James’ Park on 26th November in a shock result.
So the players will hopefully be ready for this game tonight and can pick up all 3 points, but it’s never easy going to lower league sides who tend to play at their best against Newcastle.
But that’s the name of the game when you are a top side in a league and our players are learning how to handle that – they have to show up for every game otherwise we can lose.
Dwight Gayle after scoring against Birmingham
Dwight Gayle has a terrific 19 goals so far this season for us and is in top form at the moment.
He’s been interviewed in the local papers today and this is what the former Crystal Palace player had to say when asked what his goal for 2017 was:
“Promotion – as simple as that.”
“Of course it’s nice to be top of the table but obviously we’ve played more games than Brighton and we know they’re going to be there all of the way with us.”
“The main thing for us is just to continue what we’re doing; if we can play the same way we have been and pick up the same number of points as we have done for the first half of the season, we know we’ll be there or thereabouts.”
“So we need to continue to keep doing what we’re doing, keep pushing on and get more points on the board.”
“We go into the Blackburn game with confidence but we need to go there knowing if we don’t turn up, we could lose.”
“We’ve seen that when they came up to our place last month that they can be a very dangerous team, they set up strong and were hard to break down.”
“We need to go in there with our heads switched on and with intensity, working hard.” “Perhaps that’s where we’ve struggled a bit and not got results when we’ve not been at our best.”
“We showed we can do that against Forest when we didn’t play particularly well.”
“It’s a good sign and we know we have a lot of improvements we can bring to the table, so it’s good and bad really.”
“Jonjo Shelvey is a fantastic player and personally I love playing alongside him.”
“But we’ve got great quality, we’ve got 24 or 25 players who can all step in and do a job for us and the last 30 showed that we can play without him.”
Newcastle need to get promoted this season – that’s the only thing that really matters this year – to be back playing with the big boys at this time next year.
Seven in ten fans think we can win this game at Blackburn when we haven’t played well in the last two games without Jonjo Shelvey.