Garry Monk and his team looked as though they could just possibly get involved in the fight for automatic promotion.
However, a run of only one win in their five matches leading up to last Saturday meant Leeds United were instead looking over their shoulders.
A 3-0 home win over Preston has seen them open up a decent five point gap to seventh place but now 12 points adrift of Newcastle and 14 behind Brighton, any chance of top two appears to have gone.
In the build up to the game at Elland Road back in November, Garry Monk predicted one of the relegated clubs to win the Championship but it wasn’t Newcastle he tipped, even though they were four points ahead of Monk’s fancies:
“I know that Newcastle are up there as well but for me, Norwich have kept a lot of their squad which were with them in the Premier League, as well as adding some good players in the summer.
“They have a squad which has been together in a higher league.”
Norwich of course have collapsed dramatically after looking promotion possibles, the Canaries now 24 points behind Newcastle and nine off he play-off spots.
Garry Monk is determined to show at St James Park that they can produce their Elland Road form on the road.
Leeds have won 45 points at home compared to Newcastle’s 41, whilst when it comes to away form it 43 points for Rafa’s team and only 27 for Monk’s.
With only two Championship away wins (at strugglers Birmingham and Blackburn) since Boxing Day, it is easy to see why the Yorkshire club haven’t been able to sustain a challenge for the top two places.
“It has been a hard week for the players and it was tough coming into the (Preston) game on the back of two defeats.
“We wanted to show a response and we got that, in the first half we were excellent and we came out strong in the second half, we had chances to go 3-0 up earlier than we did.
“In the last two away games there was a lot of noise because of where we are in the league and the opportunity we have, but we got back to focusing solely on the game and we showed what we are good at and capable of.
“We are a very dangerous team across the whole pitch when we all deliver a performance and it was great to see the rest of the group contributing to the goals.
“Once again our fans were incredible here at Elland Road, the atmosphere was fantastic.
“We wanted the three points, but we also wanted a good performance and it was pleasing to get that.
“We have a great game at Newcastle coming up now, they are two huge clubs with a lot of fans and it is our determination to show we can be as good away from home as we are at home.”