When you are backed into a corner, as Newcastle United find themselves now, surely the only thing to do is come out fighting.

Rafa Benitez will have a plan and all the players need to do is follow orders AND throw everything at it.

It may sound a bit harsh but if you ask yourself, was that opening half hour in the home win against West Ham, the only time when you really really enjoyed watching Newcastle this season?

The Hammers are now fifth and only one point off the top four, they went into that game at St James Park on the back of a four match winning run and unbeaten in nine…

Yet that first half hour Newcastle ran like their lives depended on it, totally unhinged the West Ham game plan and took a two goal lead, making the opposition a very average team.

The quality of Jonjo Shelvey that day was a major factor but far more than that, sheer grit and hard work built the platform.

It is pointless Newcastle United sitting off teams as they have neither the quality to keep a clean sheet, or score goals against an organised & prepared defence.

There may well be risks with this strategy but the Magpies need to press the Canaries high up the pitch and force mistakes.

In Leicester City’s final eight matches last season, they won six and drew one, end of season form that kept them in the Premier League and on their way to potential ultimate glory this season.

It would be foolish to suggest Newcastle are in any way capable of matching that fairytale but what is for sure, is that qualities came to the fore last spring which were a major surprise to the Foxes fans who had become accustomed to weekly disappointment.

Newcastle fans are quite literally sick of being made fools of and the first step is just to have a team that everybody is proud of, regardless of the result.

Quality can come afterwards but if at 5pm today, the travelling Newcastle fans can say the team have done  everything they could in terms of effort and application, then you can’t have any complaints.

We don’t want to hear afterwards that the players are going to work extra hard in training before the next match, we can all judge for ourselves when it comes to effort and there is no need for words – just 100% effort in front of those who pay their wages.

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