There is no denying that last week was tough for Newcastle, however, despite this, United have come out of it with little damage. Although defeat at Hull in the League Cup was a blow, it should be something we should all put behind us now, despite the obvious pain it caused for many United fans. On the other hand, all was not lost in the Championship, results went in their favour. Despite two questionable defeats to Blackburn and Nottingham Forest, United still sit on top of the Championship thanks to Brighton only drawing. So far then, it’s not half as bad as first thought, when the final whistle blew at the City Ground on Friday. Newcastle must take advantage of this second chance on Saturday when Birmingham are the visitors to St. James’.
United simply cannot afford to slip up, in what could be a season-defining game. So far this week, things have looked far more promising and hopefully, the feel good factor of Paul Dummett and Jonjo Shelvey having their red cards rescinded by the FA continues into this weekend’s game. However, United cannot think that this result will come easy as Birmingham ae going well in the Championship and are sitting pretty in the playoff positions. It will mean that United have to be at their best and can’t afford to show the complacency which they showed in their previous home game as quite simply they will be beaten. However, the last week will have demonstrated to United that nothing comes easy in this league and not everything will go your way and there was no better example of that than the game against Forest. It was 90 minutes of absolute chaos brought about by the poorest refereeing display that United have possibly ever seen and the tremendous luck of Nottingham Forest to scrape a result they arguably didn’t deserve. It is important that United show the quick, sharp attacking football which they displayed in the early moments against Cardiff and Ipswich throughout the entire game and this past week may inspire such a performance from them.
Hopefully, the last week will have proven a point to Newcastle, who, despite the nine-game winning streak, still seem like they are yet to reach 100% on the pitch. If there can be any consolation to be brought out of last week’s horror shows is that it maybe the motivation to allow United to finally reach their potential on the pitch. However, if the Magpies fail to reach the standards set so far this season it could see a change in fortunes which would be catastrophic to a club the size of Newcastle. Therefore, the game on Saturday is of massive importance, hopefully, Rafa Benitez’s side will be able to succeed and get back to winning ways.
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