So we scraped past Cheltenham the other night, actually we did not… was simply a professional performance and we did what was needed to be done. Disappointments were the flurry of head injuries and of course Rolando Aarons going off (again) with yet another long-term injury.

The more immediate worries were Dwight Gayle and the returning Mitrovic, both now not available for Saturday.

Talking of Dwight Gayle, how unselfish of him was it to square the ball to Perez for a tap in for the second, it showed good awareness. As for Perez, despite his brace of goals he still seems somewhat off the pace, however form is temporary and class is permanent, he will come good.

Karl Darlow did not have much to do but commanded his box well when needed and came out and caught the crosses, I hope Mr Sels took note!

So we move on to what is quite a ‘biggy’ this weekend, and oh joy the Sky cameras are here, no doubt hoping to see us crash and burn, well for once I don’t think we will, I see an improvement in each game  and with a loud SJP behind the team then surely it will be a good three points which should see us right in the race at this early stage of the season.

Brighton are my second team, this is due to my family roots on one side being from there, however there is no room for sentiment in the Standen household as they must be put to the sword. Mind, going back to about 1979 they have a decent record up here, including the infamous Trelford Mills game of 1983 ( ask your dad).

We need to be at them from the start, hopefully Gallowgate Flags can whip up a tasty atmosphere pre-match, then the  12th man in the stands can take over and give Rafa and  the lads the backing they need.

Talking of Gallowgate Flags, if you did take a one either deliberately or in error, please bring it back this Saturday. A lot of time, effort and hard earned cash went into the organising and purchasing of the flags, so please do the right thing!

Over the years I have been very good at over enthusing about certain players, I did it with Debuchy, Janmaat and even Thauvin ( based on his home debut last season), inevitably all eventually proved to me that I knew nowt.

Daryl Janmaat has now walked away and I don’t care one jot, I really don’t, in my eyes he turned out to be a balance of mediocrity and liability, this despite me waxing lyrically about him a while back.

He has gone to that giant of a club, namely Watford. He surely must drink from the same cup as Townsend…big clubs indeed!

No doubt the Doctor Dooms of this world will argue it is another proven quality player gone, to be replaced by somebody inferior, why can’t you people believe in Rafa?

That said, I do believe this is the last chance saloon for NUFC, because without Rafa I could not see a way forward. So instead of sniping, why don’t you  all credit the man for showing there is some honour in football, he could easily have walked away but instead he chose to give us a proper go.

I notice our friends from down the road have had a difficult start to the season, their manager already talking about a relegation battle ahead, ask yourselves whose shoes would you rather be in?

I will tell you now, there are more smiles on Tyneside than Wearside!

In the same way that 1992/93 was a pivotal season, then this could be too, so let us carry on doing our bit to keep the momentum and feel good factor going.

At 52 I might be wishing my life away but I can’t wait for Newcastle v Brighton on Saturday: a full stadium plus the bonus of more pre-match drinking time……bring it on!

Travel Posters - Tyneside Prints