Newcastle 1 Fulham 3 – Saturday 11 March 3pm
Darlow 5 – I like him but questions may be asked after another hesitant display. Elliott may deserve a recall for the run in…
Dummett 4 – Having received deserved praise in recent weeks, today was a return to the Paul Dummett of last season. Hopefully he will put that mistake behind him and bounce back quickly.
Clark 5 – An uncharacteristic poor performance… but considering he’s my player of the season so far, he’s earned the right to have a bad game.
Lascelles 3 – Certainly not my cup of tea at the moment. Another hesitant performance. I’ve said this before but when the going gets tough I don’t really see him get going.
Anita 2 – To put it bluntly, he had the absolutely mickey taken out of him all day, by a young (and albeit brilliant) 16 year old.
Colback 3 – Does Rafa really like him? Or is it just a case of there is literally nobody in the squad to take his place at the moment. Made to look like a boy up against Tom Cairney.
Shelvey 4 – A bad day at the office, in fact it was probably one of Shelvey’s worst displays in an NUFC shirt.
Ritchie 4 – Another one who has been really disappointing lately, despite our good results. Away from home he is doing a good job (much like Dummett, Gouffran and Colback do) but at home we need more from him, more creativity, better delivery, can he beat a man?
Diame 2 – We have learnt so far that you never know which Diame is going to turn up. Unfortunately, more often than not it’s the bad one.
Atsu 4 – Rarely produces the goods when he starts the game. Definitely more effective when brought on as a sub against tired legs. Must improve his final ball if he is to earn a permanent contract.
Gayle 6 – Huffed and puffed but to no avail. Received little support from Diame and was isolated far too often.
Murphy 7 – Continues to put Rafa in a difficult position with his goals and contribution.
Gamez 6 – Not much to talk about but will fancy his chances of starting the next game following Anita’s terrible performance.
Gouffran – N/A (Not on long enough)
Another game that highlights promotion is NOT guaranteed. I’m sick and tired of listening to North East journos and writers talk as if we are already promoted. We are nowhere near being already promoted.
There was even a section of sky sports this week that suggested Newcastle were guaranteed to finish in the top two and that it was merely a question of whether we will win the title! Absolute Bonkers!
Yes we are favourites. However, Huddersfield are only six points behind with a game in hand. Surely fans and pundits have learnt that anyone can beat anyone in the Championship.
I think Rafa is the only one who knows we aren’t promoted yet and isn’t getting too excited because it’s going to be a right old slog to the last game or two.
I have full confidence in Rafa Benitez but I don’t have the same amount of confidence in the ability of some of our players.
Stats from BBC Sport:
Newcastle 1 Fulham 3
Newcastle: Murphy 76
Fulham: Cairney 15, Sessegnon 51, 59
Possession was Fulham 62% Newcastle 38%
Total shots were Fulham 11 Newcastle 11
Shots on target were Fulham 4 Newcastle 4
Corners were Fulham 7 Newcastle 5
Referee: James Linington
Darlow, Anita, Lascelles, Clark (Gamez 64), Dummett, Colback, Ritchie, Shelvey, Atsu, Diame (Murphy 61), Gayle (Gouffran 74)
Elliot, Hanley, Perez, Mitrovic
You can follow the author on Twitter @JonathanComyn
To read the instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to the defeat go HERE.
The Fulham boss quizzed on whether Newcastle will still get promotion – Read HERE.