It’s very important that Newcastle players don’t think the job of promotion is done and dusted until we are over the line and then there will still be games to win – if it’s before the final game.
That’s the way Rafa is – a winner – thinks and he always wants to win every game he plays – not a bad way to view things as a manager.
Some local journalists think we will definitively get promotion now, but from a player’s viewpoint that is dangerous.
We’re sure Rafa is drumming it into his players that every game now they have to play with confidence and not with anxiety.
Jamaal Lascelles – Newcastle captain
If we do start playing with anxiety that can only hurt the performance and make things tougher in the run-in..
So we are hoping on Saturday against Fulham the lads start off like a steam train and then keep that pace up for the full 90 minutes.
We have very few injuries now – Yedlin is out for two weeks with a thigh tear.
But that just means he will miss the games for the US in World Cup qualifying and he should be fit again on April 1st for the last 8 games of the season.
Jamaal Lascelles has been a good captain for us and he’s got it right when he says we cannot take anything for granted.
This is what he has said as reported in the Star today:
“We’re doing well and are heading in the right direction, but there’s still a long way to go.”
“We can’t go into any game thinking that we’re there and we need to treat every game we’ve got left like it’s a cup final.”
“That’s exactly what we’ll do.”
“We need to treat every game we’ve got left like it’s a cup final. That’s exactly what we’ll do”
“We’d have snapped your hand off had you offered us seven points going into those three away games.”
“It will be great to be back in front of our own fans and we know we have to maintain our high levels for the rest of the season.”
It’s good if we play every game like a Cup Final, but only if that means we play at our best, but not if we play nervously.
Six of our final games are at home, so the lads need to prove they can win games at home against good and bad teams alike.
They will get that chance before the last day of the season when we play at home to Barnsley on 7th May.
Hopefully that will be a massive celebration of a successful but very tough season.