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.