Newcastle have 12 games to play before the end of this year and only one of the opposition are a top-six club; we play Liverpool away on Boxing Day.
And seven of those teams are in the bottom half of the league so, of those 12 fixtures, we are in with a decent chance of winning eleven of them.
We’re sure that’s the way Rafa is looking at the situation although the game at Anfield is always a special one for the former Liverpool manager – who is still loved on Merseyside.
Newcastle have only 2 points from 8 games that we got from 0-0 draws we got at Cardiff City and Crystal Palace; those are the only two games we’ve had a clean sheet so far this season.
Federico Fernandez – in action against Chelsea
This is what Federico Fernandez has said about the preparation for the game on Saturday:
“It’s a massive game. We know they are a good team, very organized and disciplined,”
“We have been analyzing them, and they have pace up front, particularly with their wingers, and they have good strikers, too.
“For us, we need to be patient with the ball, try to find the space, don’t concede many free-kicks or corners because they are quite strong in the air.”
“It’s a game that I hope we can take the three points from because we need them – and we are ready to now after a tough start.”
“I had a bad run with Swansea last season as well. But, if you see the table, we’re on two points – and there are a lot of teams with five points or only a few more.”
“So it’s different for everyone, but we know how difficult this league is, and also how quickly things can change.”
“Obviously we want to do better, we need to focus on the basics, start organizing the team a little bit more – and definitely score more goals to win games.”
“But the things we have already done well, we need to keep doing those, then correct the little bits on the side, too.”
“The manager is still keeping the same message – that we need to stay calm. Until the 70-minute mark, we had all the control at Old Trafford,”
“But this is football. Maybe before the game we didn’t expect to be 2-0 up in the first half, but we did that.”
“We just have to carry on, keep working and try to be focused in our performances.”
“We obviously need to improve what we are doing wrong as a team, and try to correct that in the next one.
Newcastle will need to keep it tight at the back on Saturday and in this fixture last season we had a 0-0 draw.
But Brighton also beat us 1-0 at the Amex Stadium.
The Seagulls are usually good in defense but this season they have conceded 13 goals – the same number as Newcastle have conceded.
The bottom line is that we need a win.
In the league three years ago during our relegation season when Steve McClaren was the manager, we also took only 2 points from our first 8 league games.
We got our first win in the 9th league game of that season when we blasted Norwich City 6-2 at home on 18th October.
That was 15 days after we were hammered 6-1 at Manchester City in one of the worst second-half performances on record.
That’s when Aguero scored five goals in a 20-minute spell and four of those were in the second half.
But in August 2015 we had our first win of the season in the League Cup when we beat Northampton Town 4-1 at home when Florian Thauvin had an excellent game.
We were a little better off in terms of wins three years ago at this stage of the season.
A win is what we need on Saturday but the Seagulls could prove difficult to break down.