Fortress St James Park points way to the finishing line
St James Park hasn’t quite worked out as a fortress this season, the Championship campaign seeing a split of eight wins and four defeats.
Newcastle United always capable of surprising you, having currently picked up four more (28) points away than at home (24).
All four defeats came as shocks/surprises but mostly because the Magpies were widely regarded as capable of going the whole season unbeaten at home, just as they did in their last promotion campaign (2009/10).
Looking at the table as it stands, Newcastle have lost out at St James Park to the clubs in fourth (Huddersfield) and sixth (Sheffield Wednesday), whilst Wolves at the time came with a record of only two defeats in their first nine matches (all competitions) of the season.
The real shocker of course was relegation fighting Blackburn, though that came on the back of Rafa risking leaving out half his team, including Dwight Gayle, in order to have a real crack at Hull City in the League Cup quarter final.
With 52 points at the moment, Newcastle face 11 more clubs at St James Park and here each of them is preceded by their position in the table:
3rd Leeds United
7th Derby County
12th Aston Villa
18th Bristol City
The bottom line is that Newcastle still have three of the bottom four to play at home, plus only one other club (Leeds) who are currently in the top six, plus a handful of mid-table teams.
What’s more, is that United have already beaten nine of these 11 on their travels, the only exceptions being when caught cold on the opening day against Fulham and conceding a feeble late equaliser at Villa after dominating.
Last season saw second and third (Middlesbrough & Brighton) finish on 89 points and surely winning nine or more of these home matches will see Newcastle cruise to promotion, with points added away from home as well.
This is the time for everybody to turn up the heat/volume on visitors to Tyneside, let them enjoy their day/weekend in our glorious city but not the 90 minutes at St James Park.
There really is no excuse as weaker sides with smaller squads start to feel the stresses and strains of the never ending Championship season.
With fifty thousand crowds looking guaranteed for the remainder of games, we can all come together to ensure Newcastle make the essential instant bounce back to the top tier.
It may have not been quite fortress St James Park so far – but no excuses in the run-in.
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