A poll on The Mag asked Newcastle United fans about this run of three away games against teams in the top five, what would be the minimum points return that could qualify as ‘success’.

By far the most popular answer was 5 points, twice as many votes as any other.

Supporters voting with their heads and going for the lowest number that would give Newcastle at least one win AND see them unbeaten – thereby not giving any leg up to our rivals.

The next most popular were 7 (19%) and 6 (16%) points, no doubt hoping that the two wins would come against Brighton and Huddersfield, now that Reading have dropped to a distant fifth (13 points behind NUFC).

9 – 5%

7 – 19%

6 – 16%

5 – 37%

4 – 13%

3 – 6%

2 – 1%

1 – 3%

That dramatic win over Brighton has moved the goalposts but if the same fans were asked again, they probably wouldn’t be any more greedy now, despite having banked three points already.

It was always a toss up as to whether Brighton or Huddersfield was the most important of the two and now one has been defeated, a point on Saturday would still ensure Newcastle went beyond the weekend still top of he Championship.

This is the business end and in Rafa Benitez, Newcastle maybe have their trump card, when you have been three goals down in the Champions League final, what is a 46 match slog in the English second tier by comparison?

It is proving an interesting episode in the Spaniard’s career and as Norwich and Villa are proving, neither keeping most of your Premier League players or spending vast amounts of money, are any guarantees of success in this dog eat dog 10 month campaign.

Only 12 games, 12 cup-ties (Champions League finals) to go, a return to the Premier League could almost be reaching its tipping point – if we hold our nerve.

(Fans commenting on articles is a big part of The Mag but we have had to make an enforced change.

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  • Wor Monga

    The things that Rafa knows best of all is how to approach a game, exactly what he needs from it, which of his players will be in the right frame of mind and fitness to go for it, and how to set them up to give him the result he needs…

    …IMO He’d probably set-up this one for the draw, but then figure out as it goes on what can be done to win it…whereas they need to win it, by throwing everything at us from the start, and the pressure will be on them, to find a way through, where Brighton (without some referee assistance) couldn’t…

    …as the game goes on (like Hughton) I can see Wagner end up trying all he can, to figure out how to stop his side from losing it!!!

    • Leazesl Ender

      A dummied shot by Atsu delicately laid onto the heel of Diame for the perfect lob… didn’t Rafa plan that first goal on the training pitch using science of trajectory and ballistics?

      Maybe there’s too much reading into what the manager’s level of genius actually is, and we should realise that we just sit back in away fixtures until we need to respond to a goal…. or try to hit the opposition on the break. or put fresh legs on to run at the defence on 66 minutes.

      It’s not rocket science.

      • Wor Monga

        Yes…that could be the science of winning games away from home…so do you have a problem with that, then?…or do you just have a problem with the Toon winning games?…perhaps it doesn’t quite sit with your political views on the club?!!!

  • It’s bobbi fleckman

    We just need 5, even 4 will be OK as long as the point comes from Huddersfield.

  • Kev-82

    All depends on tomorrow, beat Huddersfield and 3 points from 6 will be fine, but 3 from 6 with a defeat tomorrow is not so good.