Saturday night saw Newcastle United move five points clear of Chris Hughton’s Brighton side. United were impressive in their victory over Huddersfield Town. A perfect away performance capped off the perfect week for United. However, with more tough fixtures to come focus will be needed to achieve Benitez’s goal.
With 11 games to go what do Newcastle need?
Simply, Newcastle need to be consistent. The main problem with Rafa Benitez’s side is that they have been unable to sustain consistent form, bar the amazing run in the autumn. Furthermore, when the smaller teams have faced Newcastle, there have often been disappointing results. The games against Blackburn come to mind. Newcastle were less than impressive in both games. Especially at St. James’s Park, the support generated at the stadium should inspire better results, however. as the form table tells us, United are only the seventh best side at home in the division. This needs to be improved upon and if Benitez can do so consistency will follow. The fantastic spirit shown by the team in away games needs to be transferred. The weight of expectation mustn’t get to the players.
Furthermore, when the atmosphere gets going, the performances are far better. Clearly, this means we need to get behind the lads.
Don’t think it’s all over yet
As this club knows all too well, as illustrated in the picture, just because you have a big lead doesn’t mean it’s over. In 1996, Manchester United overturned Newcastle’s 12 point lead. Now in 2017, in the Championship, Newcastle have a smaller lead. Despite there being less games left than in 2017, lessons can still be learnt from this. Newcastle need to get the job done and get back to the Premier League. Hopefully, they will achieve promotion, the performances of Rafa Benitez, the player and the fans deserve it. Now they must go out and achieve it.
Feature image credit: Martin Le Roy