Newcastle’s Automatic Promotion Gap Decreasing

We are 5 points above 3rd placed Huddersfield Town after both teams have played 31 games with Newcastle second top on 66 points to Brighton who won 2-0 at Barnsley on Saturday and are 2 points ahead of us.

But our goal difference is the best in the division and currently 28 goals better than that of the Terriers, so that’s always worth an extra point in the promotion scramble.

In reality we are 6 points clear in an automatic promotion place.

Jack Colback in action at Derby early in the season

But the Terriers are coming on very well having won six of  their seven league games this year, including wins at home to Brighton and Leeds United.

They held Manchester City at home on Saturday to a 0-0 draw in the 5th round of the FA Cup and David Wagner has got them very well organized and playing extremely well with confidence.

Jack Colback has talked to the Chronicle and he says he is getting just a bit irritated that teams like Huddersfield are gaining on us in 3rd place:

“It’s getting irritating now, actually.” “Of course you have a look at the other results, they are a part of the competition, you’re going to have a look after games.”

“But we obviously focus on ourselves first.”

“We know that we’ve put ourselves in a position where if we keep winning games or stay unbeaten and are consistent, then we’ll go up so we will focus on that first and foremost.”

“The gap to the play-off places obviously was a bit more healthy, they have closed the gap, credit to them because they keep wining games, but we’ve got to play everyone around us.”

“It’s in our own hands.”

“I think we have just been consistent.” “We have obviously had setbacks but have always reacted to them well.”

“We’ve never really suffered many consecutive defeats or had a spell where we have not won a game for a while.”

“It has probably never been longer than two or three games max.” “Villa and Norwich have been through longer spells when they have not won a game.”

“It is a strong squad in terms of characters.” “We are all pulling in the same direction and all want the same thing and that is to be promoted.”  “We know we have to react to setbacks.”

“Fans want to see good performances, and if the team doesn’t start well they always kind of make that known,.”

“But at St James’ it’s certainly not as bad as I have experienced before and they stick with you and stay there until the end and give us a chance to do it.”

The Terriers have 18 points from their seven league games this year and we have four wins and two draws and that shock defeat at Blackburn – so they have gained 4 points on us.

The nerves can be calmed with a good home win tonight against Aston Villa and we need maybe 10 wins out of the last 15 games to gain promotion.

That’s one way of thinking about it.

Comments welcome.

32 comments so far

  • G

    Feb 20, 2017 at 8:47 AM

    Comment #1

    I reckon the fixtures will come too fast for Huddersfield now, what with the replay at City. I suspect that may knock the jam right out of their doughnut.

  • Jib

    Feb 20, 2017 at 8:52 AM

    Comment #2

    Rafa talking about his transfer policy

    “Teams that have been in the Championship for a number of years in a row, in the top six or close to the top six, if they sign only a couple of players, that is all they need to be stronger.

    It is simple to understand why.

    Benitez and his staff researched the “character” and “mentality” of the players they wanted to recruit.

    “The first thing that we did well was to know about what we had here in terms of the players and staff,
    After that, we tried to keep the people we wanted to keep, and receive advice from them because they knew the city, the club and what was going on.
    We tried to sign players that we thought could be good for the Championship, and then afterwards in the Premier League.
    But we made sure that we were bringing in players with the right character.
    It is not just about quality sometimes. You also have to have the right characters. Sometimes, you might sign a player and they are not amazing, but they can create the right atmosphere in the dressing room.
    We have good players, and good professionals. We have a very good group.
    There are examples of good players who have not been right for the Championship.
    When we talking about which players we had to keep and which players we had to sell, we talked a lot about mentality.
    We knew the players where the mentality was right for them to stay and keep pushing, and try to go up from the Championship.

    I think we were right with the majority of them.

    Obviously, we have made mistakes like everyone, but the key is that if you have less mistakes than the others.

    I think we have assembled a good group of players, and the players that were already here are fine.
    They are pushing hard, and the understanding between the new players and the rest has been really good.”

  • Jib

    Feb 20, 2017 at 8:56 AM

    Comment #3

    Hopefully Dwight Gayle will want to dedicate a few goals to his new daughter.
    Wet her heid wi’ goals as it were.

  • G

    Feb 20, 2017 at 8:59 AM

    Comment #4

    Jib, hope you are right, I’ve got a tenner on him to bang 2 in tonight.

  • Jib

    Feb 20, 2017 at 9:03 AM

    Comment #5

    It just gets worse for Sunlun
    If (when ?) they get relegated Jordan Pickford is off to Man City.

  • cyprus

    Feb 20, 2017 at 9:12 AM

    Comment #6

    Strictly speaking, in reality we are 5.1 points clear. If we end up with same points we go up. If they gain 6 points, they go up

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Feb 20, 2017 at 9:35 AM

    Comment #7


    Like the picture, much better than Spain?

    Also you can rent holiday accommodation there!

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Feb 20, 2017 at 9:42 AM

    Comment #8

    Rafa bingo


    Yedlin Lascelles Clarke Dummett

    Colback Shelvey

    Ritchie Perez Gouffron


    3-0 to us.

    Nearly went for Atzu instead of Gouf but I think Rafa is going for stability in the team so will continue with the players he thinks will put the hard work in. Not saying that Atzu and Diame won’t do that but I think that is Rafa’s favoured 11. Anyway we’ll see.

  • G

    Feb 20, 2017 at 9:57 AM

    Comment #9

    @7 Guest houses in Bamburgh village are 10 a penny, and Seahouses and Beadnell are very close and have umpteen holiday parks and B&B’s mate.

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Feb 20, 2017 at 10:03 AM

    Comment #10


    Yeah, I don’t doubt that, I was just pointing out that Bamburgh Castle can be rented as a response to Jib’s beautiful photo.

    It’s probably a step or two up from holiday camps and B&Bs.

  • G

    Feb 20, 2017 at 10:05 AM

    Comment #11

    I think it’s still a private residence EGB? I’m sure there was some pillock with TVR used to own it, but parts of it were still open for tour last time I was there.

  • lesh

    Feb 20, 2017 at 10:17 AM

    Comment #12


    You’re hopeful and we all hope you’re right. Brighton seem to have cracked held on to their form when they’ve had a habit of falling away for the second half of the season. Mind, they were fortunate at the weekend when the ref missed a definite penalty shout in the first half. A Barnsley goal might just have set the rot in, however…

  • magspuggy

    Feb 20, 2017 at 10:19 AM

    Comment #13

    Its a canny walk to sjp from there.
    We really are blessed to live with places like bambrough Alnwick etc some of the best scenery in the world on our doorstep.

    Back to foolball hope darlow starts and gale bangs a brace in for the new bairn.

  • lesh

    Feb 20, 2017 at 10:21 AM

    Comment #14


    The Castle owner rents rooms and/ or apartments. It could be rented in its entirity I suppose but it’d cost a lot and is probably only in the scope of very wealthy folk from Essex for example!

  • lesh

    Feb 20, 2017 at 10:24 AM

    Comment #15


    You’re dead right about the beauty of the north-east coast. Given the wonderful beaches, It’s only the climate prevents the Germans putting their towels down overnight!

  • hibbit

    Feb 20, 2017 at 10:33 AM

    Comment #16

    Bamburgh Castle is still owned by one of Lord Armstrong’s descendants
    the apartments are more for long term lease than holiday lets

  • posada

    Feb 20, 2017 at 10:38 AM

    Comment #17

    Huddersfield are on a run. That is to say they are playing well, but everything is working in their favour including luck.
    They have secured 5 points with last minute goals in the past few weeks. Hopefully that can’t go on.
    We need to stop looking at the gap. This promotion has to be won and earned. Someone has to come up with the performances. The goals, the blocks, the saves, the support, the tactics etc.

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Feb 20, 2017 at 10:49 AM

    Comment #18


    If I meet any I’ll pass that message on. 🙂

  • barkel

    Feb 20, 2017 at 11:07 AM

    Comment #19

    Rafa bingo


    Yedlin Lascelles Clark Dummett

    Colback Shelvey

    Ritchie Diame Gouffron


  • Jib

    Feb 20, 2017 at 11:08 AM

    Comment #20

    When I was young (about 21) I used to stay the odd summer wekend at a schoolfriend’s family cottage North of Longframlington.

    Late afternoons we usd to sneak into Cragside the back way and fish the top Lakes.

    They were built originally for the nascent Hydro-electric system which made Cragside the first house to be illuminated by electricity in the world.

    By the time we discovered them the lakes had been stocked and were teeming with Rainbow and Brown Trout.

    One evening we were fishing away (poaching if you will) when this old geezer in a splendid 3 piece harris tweed suit and deerstalker approached us .

    He said he’d been watching us for a few evenings.

    He said he wanted to warn us that the gamekeeper was on the prowl and we could tell his approach on a Honda 50 because it sounded like a mosquito whining in the distance.

    When it stopped it meant he was on foot approaching the lakes and we should skedaddle.

    We thanked him for the tip and thought no more about it.

    Later that evening we were having a drink in one of the splendid pubs in Rothbury when we spotted the old gent sitting in the corner chewing the fat with some friends.

    My mate Derek askd the barman who he was.

    “Oh that’s owld Lord Armstrong from Cragside” says he !

  • gaz 44

    Feb 20, 2017 at 11:09 AM

    Comment #21

    Hope this brings a little more atmosphere to the ground… it may be that I was a lad at the time but the atmosphere of st.james in the 90s surpasses anything in the recent years .. even in the early 2000 robson years some of the atmosphere had been lost

  • Rotonda heights

    Feb 20, 2017 at 11:13 AM

    Comment #22

    Sorry but i always despair a little when i see colback’s name on the team sheet. i know hayden is injured but we have anita or mbemba, plus we could just play diame and perez together a la 2nd half v norwich, especially at sjp.

    dummet can’t attack or create but at least has some ability defending, but colback doesn’t seem to be able to create, score, go past anyone or tackle llegitimately.

  • Lindisfarne

    Feb 20, 2017 at 11:31 AM

    Comment #23

    Not getting into the debate regarding Colback, but I would rather see the attack minded Diame partnering Shelvey and Perez at #10. If Rafa requires more defensive solidity he could play Lazaar on the left, get him up to speed for when he needs to drop back into starting at LB.

    IMO Huddersfield will suffer a down turn before the end of the season.

  • G

    Feb 20, 2017 at 11:37 AM

    Comment #24

    Just bumped into half the Villa squad on the Millennium bridge. These lads look psychologically damaged! Just walked past them all laughing, and they looked like they were about to cry! I reckon we might get a cricket score tonight lads.

  • magspuggy

    Feb 20, 2017 at 11:47 AM

    Comment #25

    @ G . Quick push the button and see how many of them can swim …

  • G

    Feb 20, 2017 at 11:48 AM

    Comment #26

    @25, I’ve already had a word with Tony at Bridge Control. Unfortunately he’s a mackems fan and wants Villa to win!

  • posada

    Feb 20, 2017 at 11:48 AM

    Comment #27

    My Dad used to call it Langfram.
    What do the locals call it.

  • magspuggy

    Feb 20, 2017 at 11:51 AM

    Comment #28

    Dam he must live on the gateheed side of the watter

  • Jib

    Feb 20, 2017 at 11:52 AM

    Comment #29

    Rotonda stop talking nonsense.
    Colback is a fullback/defensive midfielder
    He does probably 10 time as much covering and tackling as any of the front 5.
    As for never making an attacking pass.
    You do know who passed to Perez for his 37 second goal last week ?

  • G

    Feb 20, 2017 at 11:52 AM

    Comment #30

    He sounds a bit Pennywell. Nice enough bloke apart from his Football Politics are all wrong!

  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 20, 2017 at 12:26 PM

    Comment #31

    Jeezus, now we find out he was part of the famous five in his younger days.

  • Moonraker15

    Feb 20, 2017 at 3:09 PM

    Comment #32

    Win tonight and Saturday we will have a nice cushion to finish off the challengers when we play them next month! If we don’t win the next 2 games it’s still in our hands! I admire Huddersfield of all the challengers but I think a hammering against city in the cup replay will be the turning point and I doubt they have the squad to push us and Brighton.


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