In the last eight games since we took Huddersfield part 3-1 at the John Smith’s Stadium on March 4th (seems like 3 months ago) Newcastle have slumped in both form and results.
The outcome is that we have just 9 points and only two wins in that woeful streak and the 3 games before the International break with just 2 points was the worst return of any three league games this season.
Since then we have bettered that and in our last three league games we have two defeats and one draw for a return of a single point.
Rafa Benitez in training
We are now positioned so that automatic promotion will almost be a certainty – but it’s nothing we have done since beating the Terriers on 4th March – so the last seven weeks (including two week International break) we have been woeful.
We’re sure that’s exactly what Rafa Benitez will tell his players before tomorrow night’s game at home to Preston, who we have already beaten twice this season.
Rafa will want the players to show the fans that we are worthy of promotion and the fans have been put through hell and high water since early March when automatic promotion looked closer than it’s turned out to be.
Rafa has trained all last week to cut out the daft mistakes that have cost us so many points and he will want a mistake free professional performance, with excellent defensive play.
It will also be important the players learn from the last eight games they cannot go off the boil when they are doing so well.
Rafa – the ultimate professional – will want three wins in the final three games of the season as a matter of pride for himself and for Newcastle United Football club.
But we’ve learned this season that nothing is easy in the Championship – the most difficult football league in the world to play in – as Rafa has often attested to.
It will not be easy, but if our players aren’t ready for this game they wont be ready for any game in their lives.
There will be 52,300 fans there and new flags on display; Newcastle fans will demand the night be a celebration for achieving our only goal this season – automatic promotion back to the Premier League.
It will be only the second time in six years that a team has been relegated and then immediately automatically – Burnley were the other side to do that.
Nothing short of that will be good enough on Monday night.
If we can do that the headlines on Tuesday will be all about Newcastle and our reemergence back to the big time.
That’s what we want to see, but the players shouldn’t think it will be easy.
That’s seems to have the problem with the lads since the Huddersfield win.
We want to see Newcastle start the game tomorrow like a steam train on steroids!
The players need to make our fans proud by 9:45 pm tomorrow night.
We know they can do it.