It is always difficult to see things from somebody else’s perspective but looking from the outside, the other clubs must have a sinking feeling where Newcastle United and Brighton and Hove Albion are concerned.

Two goal wins in what looked potentially tricky matches for both clubs, is simply like knocking another nail in the hopes of those looking to sneak into the top two.

However, when you are a Newcastle fan, it is easy to forget that how outsiders perceive things might be very different to what we are thinking.

Disasters of the past mean that whatever the situation, we wonder how our club will this time yet again grasp defeat from the jaws of victory.

Apart from our own in-built pessimism/been there seen it done it, wherever you look, everybody else (outside Newcastle and Brighton) seems to think they are simply jostling for positions in the play-offs.

This isn’t complacency, just the basic reality of how the other clubs/supporters see the situation. Even if Newcastle were in Huddersfield’s position, not many of us would realistically think that an automatic promotion spot was on the cards. You wouldn’t throw the towel in but you would be accepting the almost inevitable.

newcastle united

The bookies certainly back up this point of view, the bets odds you can get on finishing top two are:

1/16 Newcastle

1/5 Brighton

11/2 Huddersfield

16/1 Sheffield Wednesday

25/1 Reading

33/1 Leeds

As is the nature of this hectic league, we now see the next seven days potentially making things a lot clearer, with eight key matches.

Tuesday 21 February

Huddersfield v Reading (7.45pm)

Sheffield Wednesday v Brentford (7.45pm)

Saturday 25 February

Leeds v Sheffield Wednesday (12:30pm)   

Barnsley v Huddersfield (3pm)

Newcastle  v Bristol City (3pm)      

Brighton  v Reading (5.30pm) 

Tuesday 28 February

Brighton v Newcastle (7.45pm)     

Wolves v Huddersfield Town (7.45pm)

When the final whistles blow next Tuesday night, all of the top six will have played 34 matches each, with 12 to go.

If Huddersfield have picked up nine points after playing promotion rivals Reading and away games at Wolves & Barnsley, then good luck to them because they will deserve to be in the mix.

The same with Reading, who face both Brighton and Huddersfield, winning both of those would be really credible results.

The bottom line though is that if both Newcastle and Brighton win on Saturday and then draw next Tuesday, they would be on 73 and 72 points respectively and it looking a real tough call for those chasing – plus the top two also have a massive goal difference advantage over the other four in the top six.

It is all about holding your nerve and as Rafa Benitez was keen to say before the Villa match, one game at a time.

(All contributions from Newcastle fans welcome, send articles (as well as ideas/suggestions) to [email protected])