Jonjo Shelvey thought the writing was on the wall after a ‘shocking’ performance at Everton last Wednesday.
The midfielder said a reaction against West Brom was essential and luckily all the ingredients were in place on Saturday.
A really poor and negative opposition which allowed Newcastle to have all the possession and rebuild their shallow confidence (sounds familiar…), with United taking full advantage in everything but the total of goals scored.
The three points were essential on Saturday and it was the first game in a mini series of matches at St James Park, with Newcastle set to also face fellow strugglers Swansea, Sunderland and Bournemouth in the coming weeks/months.
Hard to believe any of those will be quite as bad as West Brom but three more wins would go a long way towards survival, with Jonjo Shelvey believing this is top of the to do list as well.
Newcastle also have to play relegation candidates Norwich and Aston Villa away from home and all United fans will hope that Steve McClaren changes his ultra negative approach at away games, that gifts possession, control and usually the three points to the opposition.
Jonjo Shelvey says that with the pace in the Newcastle team it is ideal for counter-attacking.
However, the matches on the road so far have shown that this approach hasn’t worked, apart from the fortunate wins at Spurs and Bournemouth where the home sides would have won if they’d taken a fraction of their chances.
Saturday showed how to approach matches against the weaker teams, whether it is home or away and after 25 matches of the season you would hope even Steve McClaren has realised that.
“Only 13 games left now so we need to keep winning our home games, we are playing everybody around us – that is the main thing, if we beat them we stay up.
“When teams come here we are going to press them, get the ball down and play – we have got incredible pace in the team.
“We can exploit teams on the counter attack and so we have both sides to our game.
“We owed the fans and we needed a reaction, as we were shocking (at Everton) on Wednesday.”