At one stage on Saturday everything looked rosy for Newcastle fans, well, not rosy, but less brown with bits of sweetcorn.

The Mackems were losing, Norwich had lost, and we were dominating possession at Villa Park.  Then somehow it all conspired to collapse from beneath us, we choked, the Mackems showed a bit of fight and now we are left clutching at the razor sharp straws of misery.

Nothing you didn’t already know.

However, until the final whistle on Wednesday we are still in with a shout.

Everton have been woeful, and their fans are rightly aggrieved.  They were soundly beaten by the Champions, but to be honest they were never going to win that.  Wednesday is their chance to show the world (the match is on Sky Sports) that they are not a bunch of no-hope losers, their manager has the opportunity, away from the discontented home crowd, to show that he can inspire his team to victory.

Sunderland are in the unfamiliar position of being favourites, complacency will creep in. and their biggest (hopefully self-fulfilling prophetic) fear will be losing that match.  They may well be cagey, defensive, invite Everton’s attack, or, they’ll go for it and leave holes at the back, finally, they might do what we did and choke, settling for a draw.  If that happens the door could be opened just a crack.

Watford haven’t set the world on fire, and their manager has (ridiculously) come under pressure too this season.  It’s a home match for them (v Sunderland on Sunday) and they will be desperate to win in front of their fans.

Similarly, should the dark side slip up on Wednesday we will have the wind in our sails, fire in our bellies, steel in our groins, or something like that, anyway, we’ll be right up for it.  A home crowd fully behind the team, emotions running high, and £170m to win, against a hopefully demoralised, fearful-of-finishing-third (which may well work against us) Spuds team.  Stranger things have happened.

Of course, I think we all know what will actually happen. The Mackems will draw 0-0 on Wednesday, we will hammer Spuds 7-0, the Mackems will be 1-0 down at Watford.  Then, in the 94th minute Defoe will score a dubiously awarded pelanty after Seb ‘f***ing’ Larsshole takes a dive in the box from an offside ball after one of their other players has punched the goalie and we will go down on a one goal, goal difference.

Sad, but infuriatingly inevitable.

More realistically, Everton will cave in on Wednesday and Sunday will be a dry rubber.  If that is the case, I sincerely hope that we, the fans, will give everything we’ve got to persuade Rafa to stay.

It’s unfathomably unlikely that he will, but if we make him feel loved enough, and confident that we, the fans, can carry our team to promotion next season, if we can appeal to his deepest emotions, pull at his most susceptible heart strings, there is just the slimmest possibility that he MIGHT just stay.

Rafa, please don’t go…