Alan Shearer thinks that it has been ‘a good week for Newcastle’.
The United players followed up the home win against Swansea with draws against Manchester City and Liverpool.
A number of factors made these last results extra special, the fact that Newcastle have terrible records in both fixtures going back 10 and 20 years respectively, plus points were retrieved after going behind in both matches.
Alan Shearer also thinks it was an impressive performance from the mackems to draw with Arsenal, the extra special factor being that it lifts them (temporarily??) out of the bottom three.
Some people have said that the fact Newcastle won neither of these two matches is a negative for United and a boost for both Norwich and Sunderland.
However, the reality is that anything was going to be a bonus from these two games and to get a point from each is massive. Plus you can’t discount just what it does for the team’s confidence in these final three matches, knowing that they have it within themselves to fight back against two of the better sides.
These draws only mean something of course if they are followed up by wins against Palace and Villa in the coming days, a set of results which would give Newcastle a fighting chance of survival ahead of Spurs on the final day.
Allowing a late West Brom equaliser on Monday night could have all but ended Tottenham’s title hopes and a win for Leicester at Manchester United or defeat for Tottenham at Chelsea would confirm that.
What Newcastle have to stop doing is conceding first – and often early.
In six of seven matches in charge, Rafa Benitez has seen his team go behind in the first half and in five of those games United have trailed at half-time.
New found resilience under Rafa has seen Newcastle retrieve points in three of those six games – Sunderland, Man City and Liverpool – but it would be nice to see the players make it a bit easier for themselves starting against Crystal Palace.
Alan Shearer writing for Coral:
“It’s been a good week for Newcastle.
“Sunderland also picked up a point against Arsenal. I was impressed with the way they performed in that game.
“They are now outside the bottom three which psychologically is a big boost for them.”