At this time last season Newcastle were on their second successive home win against Huddersfield (1-0) after previously beating Southampton 3-0.
Newcastle then beat Leicester away 2-1 and Arsenal at home 2-1 to get to 41 points and safety.
But then we went into a nosedive and lost four games in succession against Everton (1-0), West Brom, (1-0) Watford (2-1) and Tottenham (1-0).
We finally finished the season off well with an excellent 3-0 home win against Chelsea who were in the FA Cup final the week after the last games in the Premier League.
And rather curiously Newcastle have the identical record this season as last season after 31 games.
|Premier League Season||Played||Won||Drawn||Lost||GF||GA||GD||Points||Position|
So we have a good chance to beat last season’s total of 44 points although it could be challenging to reach 10th place in the league.
Rafa Benitez – wants to finish higher than last season
This is what Rafa has said about the last 7 games as reported in the Chronicle:
“Every year, we have generally followed a similar pattern,”
“I would not always say ‘good results’, because last year we lost four at the end, but we were already safe.”
We have normally had good performances from the team and, physically, the team is OK.”
“The players enjoy it a little bit more at this point in the season because they can try things and they do well.”
“We have to ensure we are solid, where we keep focus and we have balance.”
“If we keep doing that, then we will have a chance. The fans have to believe that the players can do it and finish higher than last season.”
“I think we are in a good moment now in terms of togetherness – the players, also in terms of the team’s relationship with fans, and the mood around the city.”
You have to keep winning to keep that because, in football, everything can change in one week.”
“You win and you’re the best manager in the world, the next week you make two mistakes and everyone’s criticizing you
“We need to be consistent – by creating chances and scoring goals.”
Here are the final seven games and we need 10 points to beat the 44 points of last season.
Mon 01 Apr Arsenal vs Newcastle 8:00pm Sat 06 Apr Newcastle vs Crystal Palace 3:00pm Fri 12 Apr Leicester vs Newcastle 8:00pm Sat 20 Apr Newcastle vs Southampton 5:30pm Sat 27 Apr Brighton vs Newcastle 5:30pm Sat 04 May Newcastle vs Liverpool 3:00pm Sun 12 May Fulham vs Newcastle 3:00pm
Four wins in those last seven games – against Crystal Palace, Southampton, Brighton, and Fulham would get the job done.