Brighton certainly seemed to have one eye on their summer holidays on Friday night.
Chris Hughton’s team nowhere near their best after winning automatic promotion on Monday.
The Brighton boss was back at Norwich City who sacked him back in April 2014 when the Canaries were five points clear of relegation, only to then pick up one point from their final five games and go down.
Whilst the Seagulls appeared to have their minds on other things, Norwich managed to win 2-0 despite not having a single shot on target!
PFA Championship goalkeeper of the year, David Stockdale, was credited with both goals, with two strikes by Alex Pritchard striking bar and post respectively, then rebounding off the Brighton keeper and into the back of the net.
The 18th and 39th minute goals have meant that remarkably, if Newcastle win their next two games (see below) then when Brighton next play in eight days time (Sat 29 April) against Bristol City, their lead will be only one point at the top.
Whilst promotion is the only target for Newcastle this season, with the over the top criticism of Newcastle potentially ‘only’ finishing second, it would be amusing if the MAgpies ended up top.
Though there again, no doubt they would say it was Brighton throwing it away rather than Newcastle winning it.
The equation now is that for Newcastle to guarantee automatic promotion they need five points from their last three games – but if Huddersfield fail to beat Fulham on Saturday, Newcastle would go up automatically if they beat Preston on Monday.
For Newcastle to guarantee finishing ahead of Reading, the Magpies need three points from their final three games.
As for finishing top, Newcastle would need to at least win two and draw one, then have Brighton lose their final two games, or win all three and then Brighton would need to get no more than two draws in their last two games.
The Championship table after Brighton’s defeat on Friday night:
REMAINING CHAMPIONSHIP MATCHES THAT COULD AFFECT NEWCASTLE:
Saturday 22 April
Forest v Reading (3pm)
Huddersfield v Fulham (3pm)
Monday 24 April
Newcastle v Preston (7.45pm)
Tuesday 25 April
Wolves v Huddersfield (7.45pm)
Friday 28 April
Cardiff v Newcastle (7.45pm)
Saturday 29 April
Birmingham v Huddersfield (3pm)
Reading v Wigan (3pm)
Brighton v Bristol City (5.30pm)
Sunday 7 May
Aston Villa v Brighton (12 noon)
Burton v Reading (12 noon)
Huddersfield v Cardiff (12 noon)
Newcastle v Barnsley (12 noon)