Newcastle lost such an important game last Monday at Ipswich Town after we had been denied all 3 points in the previous game very late in stoppage time when Chris Wood scored an equalizer in a game we had completely dominated.
We thought we would bounce back and get all 3 points at Portman Road, but not only were we beaten but we were outplayed for the second successive game away from home.
It’s humbling that we have cratered in the last eight games and got only 9 points and two wins when Brighton have 21 points having won seven of their last eight games.
Grant Hanley – we must all stick together
They know when to go on a winning run, that’s for sure.
We’ve had 6 and 9 game winning streaks this season but nothing close to that this year in the second half of the season.
We have not been as good in the second half of the season by a long way and that’s not good.
Rafa’s rotation system was put in place so our players would be fresher at the end of the season than players at other clubs, but the results don’t show that.
Grant Hanley came back into the team for Chancel Mbemba and the experienced Championship player has been interviewed today and has tried to calm the Newcastle fans – who don’t exactly know what’s going on at the moment:
“The fans have been great all season, they’ve stuck by us and are always travelling away in their numbers.”
“There’s always packed crowds at St James’ Park and I know they’ll stay behind and give us that bit of support we need to get this job done.”
“We haven’t had too many wee blips this year, or patches where we’ve struggled, so now it’s time for the lads to get together.”
“We need to show our togetherness, show the strength we have in the squad, and make sure we pick it up again.”
“We just need to keep going.” “It speaks for itself really: we’ve got three games to get promoted, so it’s in our own hands.”
“It’s not rocket science. If we look after ourselves, we get promoted. That’s what we’re going to do.”
“Ipswich are a physical side who had a game plan and knew exactly what to do, which was too much for us in the end.”
“Ipswich deserved to win but we need to regroup and we will make that we have a response come Monday.”
United have lost key men to injury this season, including Dwight Gayle and Ciaran Clark, but Hanley dismisses any notion of using it as an excuse.”
“That’s football, and people get injured – that’s part and parcel of the game.”
“We’ve got one of the biggest and strongest squads in the Championship so that’s definitely not an excuse you can use.”
“That’s football and sometimes it goes for you with injuries, sometimes it doesn’t. There’ll be no excuses from the lads.”
“We need to look at ourselves, see where we went wrong, and improve on it.”
“It’ll be a tough test against Preston. Week in and week out in this league it’s difficult, as Ipswich proved.”
Let’s hope we can beat Preston on Monday night but that’s a long time to wait to see which Newcastle team will turn up and it’s still mathematically possible that Newcastle can throw away their chance of automatic promotion.
That would be too much for me if that happens.