Argument has raged about the FA Cup exit on Saturday.

Newcastle fans arguing the rights and wrongs of the line-up Rafa Benitez put out against Oxford and just how important the FA Cup (and League Cup) should be this season.

However, the FA Cup results this weekend have had unintended positive chain reactions as well.

Newcastle supporters had already seen the Brentford farce, when TV and a cup replay led to circumstances where fans had only a week’s notice of a change of date for the away game in West London.

However, the FA Cup defeat for Newcastle, and Brighton, has ensured that February’s fixtures don’t see further carnage.

The schedule is listed below and if Newcastle had got through, they would have played a fifth round tie on the weekend of Saturday 18 February and so the home game with Aston Villa (due to be on Monday 20 February on TV) would have had to be postponed.

Also, if either Newcastle or Brighton had got through and then got a draw in their fifth round match, then the Brighton v Newcastle game on Tuesday 28 February (also on TV) would have had to be cancelled (again) to accommodate a fifth round cup replay. Plus, that like Brentford would have seen only 9 or 10 days notice of change for supporters.

However, Fulham’s 4-1 demolition of Hull earlier today, means that if they win their fifth round match, then the Newcastle v Fulham Championship game scheduled for Saturday 11 March would be postponed, as that is FA Cup sixth round weekend.

To further cloud the issue, Sky Sports have been releasing their live TV games in March on a piecemeal basis and as it stands, there are still slots available whereby the Reading, Fulham and Birmingham City matches could still potentially be added to the list of live TV matches. Although Fulham’s ongoing FA Cup adventure could deter Sky Sports from including that one now, if they ever had any intentions of showing it anyway…

(Newcastle United’s current upcoming schedule below)

Wednesday 1 February – Newcastle v QPR (7.45pm) – SKY SPORTS

Saturday 4 February – Newcastle v Derby (3pm)

Saturday 11 February – Wolves v Newcastle (5.30pm) – SKY SPORTS

Tuesday 14 February – Norwich v Newcastle (7.45pm)

Monday 20 February – Newcastle v Aston Villa (8pm) – SKY SPORTS

Saturday 25 February – Newcastle v Bristol City (3pm)

Tuesday 28 February – Brighton v Newcastle (7.45pm) – SKY SPORTS

Saturday 4 March – Huddersfield v Newcastle (5.30pm) – SKY SPORTS

Tuesday 7 March – Reading v Newcastle (7.45pm)

Saturday 11 March – Newcastle v Fulham (3pm)

Saturday 18 March – Birmingham v Newcastle (3pm)

(Then a two week international break follows, before Newcastle v Wigan on Saturday 1 April)



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