After an Easter weekend which could /should have seen Newcastle United secure promotion to the Premier League, we had a less than fruitful one.
Only amassing one point from a possible six, having lostto Ipswich Town and being robbed of two points by Leeds, when the referee conspired to add five minutes on last Friday.
As I travelled home shocked and stunned by the Ipswich performance, Huddersfield appeared to hold a winning 1-0 lead over Derby and thathey would add to the day’s problems. Switched on later and was delighted to see that Derby had equalized.
These last two months have seen us win just two out of the last eight games.
Worryingly, considering that Brighton and Huddersfield have hit form just at the right time. With Preston, Cardiff and Barnsley our last 3 games in the league, we need to gain five or more points if Newcastle United are to guarantee automatic promotion.
If this is to be achieved, then we need to make things a lot easier on ourselves. We need to go back to basics with our defending and have a settled back four as much as possible in the last three games.
Rafa has changed it in recent games and the defensive frailties have shown with Hanley and Mbemba for me not our best centre-backs. Lascelles and Clark (hopefully back on Mondau) for me is our strongest, with Yedlin and Dummett on either side.
In the midfield, we were overrun by Ipswich on Easter Monday. We need to go with Shelvey and Hayden in the middle with Atsu and Ritchie on either side and then up front have Gayle, providing he is free, from injury AND Murphy.
Much as I like Perez and Mitrovic, I think we need Murphy to hold the ball up, along with his aerial threat and goal poaching skills.
Perez, although he has pace, is easily outmuscled by some Championship defenders and we need to be amongst the goals if we are to secure our promotion.
Mitrovic for me offers something extra but he has a short temper and has not done enough in the last couple of games to justify a place in Rafa’s starting eleven.
Hopefully, come Monday we will see a more confident Newcastle United and a better performance, take a step closer to regaining our Premier League status.
Our destiny is still in our own hands, we must seize the chance.
(All contributions from Newcastle fans welcome, send articles (as well as ideas/suggestions) to [email protected])