Karl Darlow has identified two advantages that Newcastle United will have in the Championship next season.
Ending last season in good form as United’s number one keeper, Darlow says that Rafa Benitez and the supporters can make major differences next season.
Karl Darlow describes as ‘amazing’ the support the team got despite being so useless for most of the campaign.
The Newcastle player claiming that once the players responded to the fans in the new year, the team ‘made it hard’ for most visiting teams.
In fact, in the nine games at St James Park in 2016, Newcastle won five, drew three and lost only one, the one being the game against Bournemouth that led to Steve McClaren’s sacking, so at least that game was a success as well…!
In those final nine home games Newcastle picked up 18 points, compared to picking up only 19 points from the other 29 fixtures.
United’s home record overall was pretty decent, with only nine Premier League clubs picking up more points from their home games.
As for the away record…
Karl Darlow thinks that with the backing of the crowd, many Championship teams could be intimidated when they visit and that if they can carry on from the strong finish under Rafa Benitez last season, then the results will come.
Newcastle ended the season with an unbeaten six games under Rafa and in the five matches at St James Park under the new manager, Newcastle won three and drew two.
The last (2009/10) season Newcastle spent in the Championship saw a superb home record of 18 wins, 5 draws and not a single defeat in the 23 matches.
Newcastle banking an amazing 59 points of a possible 69 at home, the 43 points picked up away from St James Park led to a total of 102 points as United finished clear at the top.
Karl Darlow talking to the official club website:
“I can’t believe the support last season, they packed the stadium week after week which, given the situation of the team, was just amazing.
“We managed to end on a high (beating Spurs 5-1) which hopefully gave the fans something back after a disappointing season.
“We made it hard for most teams who came here since Christmas and it can overwhelm some sides as we’ve shown on a few occasions.
“We need to make the stadium a fortress in the Championship because there will be teams who will be intimidated, and we have to use that to the best we can.
“But we have to be consistent in our performances home and away because we weren’t this season and we need to change that if we want to give ourselves a good chance of getting promoted.”
“The fans showed how much they wanted Rafa here and myself and the rest of the team were no different.
“You can see from what he’s achieved in his career that he is a top class manager and he’s proved that in the short time he’s been here at Newcastle.
“Since he came in we looked a lot more solid, he got his ideas across very clearly and it showed on the pitch.
“We ended the season strongly which is encouraging but unfortunately it wasn’t enough.
“We played some great football at times and I know the players were desperate for Rafa to stay, so we were all delighted when it was agreed.”