Walking out of St James Park after the final whistle yesterday, I have to say that it was a bit worrying hearing what some Newcastle fans had to say.

The acceptance of mediocrity is all but complete for large portions of our support.

Since when was a 0-0 home result against a limited team such as Stoke, anything but a shocking result.

It was the same in the pub post-match, hearing snatches of conversation about this and that player showing promise and an amazing goalkeeping performance from Butland.

Yes he played well and the Newcastle team had their moments but it is still pretty desperate stuff in the general scheme of things.

Butland made one very good save from Sissoko and a couple of decent ones but nothing incredible, in fact it was Rob Elliot who made the save of the match from a close range Walters header.

Surely it isn’t a shock that Newcastle are getting more of the play and/or chances against relegation battling sides such as Norwich, Sunderland and Stoke?

How much of it is Newcastle playing better? A little bit in my opinion.

How much of it is to do with playing weaker opposition? A lot, the way I see it.

Over three hours of football where we dominated the possession and the chances against red and striped weak teams and we couldn’t score a single goal.

Next week it is Bournemouth and the final game of this ‘easy’ set of ‘winnable’ matches, four points out of nine so far and two of those games were at home.

After Bournemouth we play the clubs who are currently 3rd (Leicester), 8th (Palace), 7th (Liverpool) and 6th (Spurs).

I have a horrible feeling we will be looking back at games such as Sunderland and Stoke and seeing that as five much needed points that were squandered against fellow relegation battlers, not promising signs of better to come.

A result is desperately needed against Bournemouth, both for the three points (obviously) and also for the confidence going into these more difficult games.

I fully expect to see Newcastle back to being the team with less possession and fewer chances when we play Leicester, Palace, Liverpool and Spurs.

I hope the players prove me wrong because otherwise we will be relying on their players to be just as wasteful as ours have been when we have been on top.

With so few natural goalscorers in our team and a lack of crosses into Mitrovic, not helped by no wingers on the pitch, the pressure will really be on Steve McClaren and his team.

Will the January transfer window see Mike Ashley pushed to panic buy again to avert the potential disaster that is looming?

These are the key stats from Saturday’s match as provided by BBC Sport;

Possession was 52% Newcastle and 48% Stoke

Total shots was 15 for Newcastle and Stoke 9

Shots on target was Newcastle 6 and Stoke 2

While corners was Newcastle 11 and Stoke 4

Team: Elliot, Janmaat (Lascelles 83), Coloccini, Mbemba, Dummett, Tiote (de Jong 71), Anita,  Sissoko, Wijnaldum, Perez, Mitrovic

Unused Subs: Woodman, Haidara, Thauvin, Cisse

Ref: Roger East

Crowd: 47,139

To see the interactive fans voting so far for the player ratings today and to add your votes go HERE.

To read the instant fan/writer reaction to the Newcastle v Stoke match go HERE.

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