Dwight Gayle made it 16 goals in 15 Championship starts on Saturday, the striker saying the team’s performance was a reminder of ‘how good we can be when we are on top of our game’.

From the kick-off Newcastle looked like a side on a mission, determined to eradicate the memories of three defeats in a row.

Dwight Gayle thinks that in that run of defeats Newcastle had still ‘played well’ but ‘perhaps were unlucky’. If anybody was lucky yesterday it wa Birmingham, as Newcastle were in such control and creating so many chances, it could easily have been seven or eight, rather than ‘just’ the four.

Stating the obvious, the former Palace forward says ‘we just need to play like that every week’. If Newcastle did do that then no team, with the possible exception of Brighton, could remotely hope to live with the Magpies.

The result puts Newcastle back on top by a point and then six ahead of Reading in third and 10 points ahead of fourth placed Huddersfield.

Alan Curbishley has said that Dwight Gayle could score at least 25 goals, depending on injuries. With 16 goals already from only 15 starts and with 26 potential matches remaining, it will be interesting to see just how many he can get…

Mick Quinn scored 34 league goals in the second tier in 1989/90, 39 in all competitions that season. Whilst Andy Cole also scored 34 league goals but that was in the Premier League 1993/94 – 41 in all competitions.

Hughie Gallacher holds the overall Newcastle record for league goals in one season, scoring 36 in 1926/27.

So a few potential records for Dwight Gayle to aim for if carrying luck both on the pitch and with injuries.

Dwight Gayle:

“It was really important to get the hat-trick but we needed to get back to winning ways.

“Obviously in the last week or so we haven’t had the best results – but I thought that we had played well and perhaps were unlucky not to pick up some points.

“We showed though against Birmingham how good we can be when we are on top of our game.

We just need to play like that every week and show what we can do.

 “Playing with that quality we have got…it (service) can come from anywhere.

“It is fantastic to be provided with the service from the great players we have got behind me – for me scoring is the best thing.

“To be helping the team pick up three points to go back to the top of the table is great.

“It’s nice to be at the top but we have to continue and the main thing is promotion at the end of it.”