I hope the Newcastle players have been putting in extra graft in the gym this week because they will need it.

The effort involved in getting a win at Bournemouth will be the equivalent of pedalling a tank uphill.

I find it hard to understand any of the Newcastle fans who are talking confidently of a win on the south coast on Saturday.

It seems centred around the belief that ‘we are Newcastle’ and ‘they are Bournemouth’, as though the history of our respective clubs will have anything to do with how the 90 minutes turn out.

The only history that IS relevant is what has happened to Newcastle United in the past year.

The match at Bournemouth will bring us to within all but two days of the one year anniversary of the 2-0 win at West Brom.

In the 363 days that have passed, Newcastle United have won 1 (ONE) first team match away from home and that was against Hull (who went on to be relegated) over nine months ago.

The stats of the away record in this period that have continued into this season, are truly horrific…

Played 20 – Won 1 Drawn 3 Lost 16

Goals for 9 Goals against 46

Failed to score in 13 of these 20 matches.

In the last 11 of these away games, Newcastle have failed to score in 9 of them and only scored a total of 2 goals.

Bournemouth are only one point ahead of Newcastle now but we can’t take any comfort from that.

They are obviously struggling to come to terms with the demands of the Premier League but we can be guaranteed they will have targeted this as a must win match and will be throwing everything at it against a relegation rival.

Their home form at their compact ground isn’t disastrous, they have picked up five points in five games, compared to Newcastle’s six in six at St James Park.

In between the opening day of the season when they lost to Villa and the recent 5-1 humping by Spurs, Bournemouth beat the mackems 2-0 and earned creditable 1-1 draw with Leicester and Watford.

We can hope but not expect that Newcastle can start finding some goals that may have been deserved from out last two games against poor teams in Sunderland and Stoke.

With Newcastle so fragile when any team attacks them, you worry just what will happen if Bournemouth do this, as surely they must.

It may boil down to Newcastle’s ability to get that first goal, so let’s hope that the golden touch seen against Norwich makes a timely reappearance.

(To feature like Sam, send in your articles for our website to [email protected] – all views those of the author etc etc)