With Newcastle getting their first home win since October 21st on Sunday, and against second-top Manchester United, we are now just 3 points out of 10th place and AFC Bournemouth – our next opponents away on February 24th.
A win in that game will take us above Bournemouth (on goal difference) who currently have 31 points – 3 points more than Newcastle at the moment.
And if Newcastle can do well in our final 11 games of the season then it will be judged as a (very) successful season.
And that’s without the club giving much money to Rafa to spend on new players last summer or in January.
Just how well we could have done if Rafa had been given say £70M to spend last summer – we can only guess.
But a lot better than we will have done by May for sure.
Rafa Benitez – after the game on Sunday
After the way Newcastle and our players played on Sunday, the team is getting massive praise from fans and pundits alike.
When Rafa first came to the club he got one point from his first four games, and things didn’t look good – we had only 25 points from 32 games.
But then we finished with three wins, and three draws to get a decent 37 points, but we were still 3rd bottom and 2 points behind Sunderland.
We are hoping that Rafa can get the lads on a good streak now – with more wins than draws – and if he can do that we could finish somewhere in the top 10.
That’s especially true if Islam Slimani starts to play well for us and score some goals.
Kenedy has looked an excellent player on the wing, and Martin Dubravka made an excellent start to his Newcastle career against the Red Devils with a magnificent performance.
He’ll never forget that start at Newcastle – now he has to keep it up.
For Dubravka to be able to do that when he was so short of match practice and just arrived at the club says a lot about the temperament and character of the 29-year-old Slovakian.
We are hoping Kenedy and Dubravka can continue to do well for us and that Slimani comes in and does a terrific job for us too.
We may surprise ourselves where we finish this season if our three loan players play well.
And if that happens we have to quickly try to sign all three players, with Dubravka the only one to have an option to buy in his loan contract.
His transfer fee would be round £3.5M, and we are paying about £1.7M for his loan spell.
What a bargain buy he could become!
Here’s how we stand in the league at the moment and we are now 4 points better off than two years ago after 27 games played.
Howay The Lads!!