Nine wins and a draw, 28 points from a possible 33, that is strong form whatever division you may find yourself in.

Newcastle United stumbled into the Championship with two defeats to (then) unfancied Fulham and Huddersfield. The fact that the previous result had been a 5-1 thrashing of Champions League qualifiers Tottenham, made the start to the season all the more perverse.

Maybe it didn’t do any lasting harm though, as Rafa Benitez and his players have bounced back with scintillating results in the next 11 matches. Five and four match winning runs sandwiching the slight stutter that was Aston Villa & Wolves.

Injuries can happen to key players at any time but you have to think that just maybe the gods are smiling on Newcastle, when the two players Rafa Benitez doesn’t have equal cover for, can rest in the international break.

With 11 goals at a rate of one every 87 minutes, Dwight Gayle is gathering ever more momentum, seven goals in the last four evidence of that.

Meanwhile Jonjo Shelvey is reminding everybody with his form, that it is really only 11 months since he was playing for England against Spain and France – Ian Holloway claims Shelvey is the best player to have ever graced the Championship and who are we to disagree?

As everybody always says, quality alone won’t get you out of the Championship.

What Rafa Benitez and his players are showing though, is that if you put in the hard work and commitment, then the added quality can and does make that difference.

Everybody pulling together for the good of the club, long may it continue.