Newcastle United are in a key period of the season.

Currently on a run of one point from the last seven matches, Rafa’s team now face six Premier League matches separated by only 19 days.

A combination of the early points on the board and relegation rivals finding all kinds of ways not to win, had given a slightly false sense of security.

However, this is quickly changing and it has become ever clearer that it is only Newcastle United who can save themselves.

A surprise win for West Ham over Chelsea at the weekend, was then followed by a late Swansea winner against West Brom on Saturday.

Going into last weekend you looked at the table and just so long as the Magpies had that six point lead over Swansea and five points over both West Ham and Palace, there was breathing space.

That isn’t the case anymore.

Tuesday night saw three Premier League matches played and there were goals scoring in all three of them in the 89th minute and after, four goals in total.

Chelsea were cruising 3-0 at Huddersfield and the home side’s 92nd minute goal was neither here nor there.

At Selhurst Park, Watford took a third minute lead through Daryl Janmaat and looked to be adding yet another away win to their tally. However, Tom Cleverley got sent off on 87 minutes and it collapsed from there, Crystal Palace scoring in the 89th and 92nd minutes to dramatically win the match.

Elsewhere, Stoke were heading for a point at Burnley and Mark Hughes felt they had deserved all three, only for the home side’s remarkable start to the season continuing. An 89th minute Barnes goal sending Burnley, even if only temporarily, into fourth place! Most importantly for Newcastle though it kept Stoke only one point above the Magpies.

Before the weekend, with that five and six point barrier to the bottom three, I thought three points from Leicester and Everton would almost certainly guarantee Newcastle being above the relegation zone at Christmas, despite tricky away matches at Arsenal and West Ham following.

However, as it looks now, I think we have to beat Everton tonight to stand any chance of not being in the bottom three when Santa calls, especially important when you consider Manchester City (at home) lie in wait on the 27th.

Premier League table before Newcastle v Everton:

newcastle united

As for Crystal Palace, since we carried the luck and beat them 1-0 in October, Newcastle have lost six and drawn one. Meanwhile the Eagles have won two, drawn five and only lost one, plus the game before the match at St James Park saw Palace beat Chelsea. They were seen as a joke and no-hopers when Newcastle beat them and now only one point separates the two teams.

Time for Newcastle’s players to wake up and put together a whole 90 minutes, rather than just bright spells in games and a succession of calamitous mistakes, usually giving up possession and being punished at this level.

No pressure…

  • Peaky Magpie

    Lose tonight then there’s a high possibility we will be bottom by New Year,win tonight and depending on other results we could go up to 12th.It really is a league of 2 halves.

    • mentalman

      there’s teams around us and below us all losing to so there’s hope

      • Peaky Magpie

        You’re right bud and if you look at tonight’s fixtures the teams in our “little league” have got some even more harder games on paper than us.Fingers crossed as a win tonight would massively lift the mood then you just never know what may happen at Arsenal,momentum and all that.

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    Nearly every cloob has better players than we have , certainly West Ham & Palace.
    WBA away Liverpool tonight, West Ham at home to Arsenal, Swansea at home to Man C
    all tough games

  • Wor Lass

    The lads can do it tonight. We need total concentration from everyone and chances put away. If Lascelles is back then I expect the sloppiness to go and Dwight`s looking pretty sharp up front. It`s in the middle where we really need to up our game – Ritchie and Hayden have looked off the pace recently and Merino has struggled since he came back from injury so I hope Jonjo is brought back in to give it a lift. He`s not the best defensively but Merino can do that job while he gets us on the offensive. It`ll be a tough game because fat Sam will have them geared up to spoil so we`ll need to stand up to them. Oh, and Chancel at LB!

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      Nice thoughts but you`re dreaming,

    • HTL

      IMHO perhaps Hayden and Merino in the middle do not have the age or experience (yet) when playing against premiership opposition (hence the mistakes as they are still learning), could it be that is why Diame keeps getting a recall? As for Jonjo, Rafa must have his reasons for not starting him (whatever they are)

  • Peaky Magpie

    Even If it takes a deflection off Hoss’s a**e for a 1-0 win I’ll have that tonight.Its probably his speciality move anyway !

  • HarryHype59

    The relegation league will involve the three promoted sides, WBA, Stoke and Swansea! CP and WHU ave better players and will put away from the other strugglers as the season progresses!

    So NUFC are one of six sides that could go down! I wonder why no one wants to buy the club at £300m?

  • molend

    Watched Burnley/Stoke, Palace/Watford last night and to be honest, they’re as bad as we are. Palace in particular (who should have had a man sent off before Cleverly was). And they’ve got Zaha, Benteke and Loftus-Cheek and Townsend (plus Cabaye and Sako) as attacking players. Obviously we need serious recruitment in January.

  • MadMag83

    You seriously looked at the Leicester and Everton games as a possible 6 points? Unfortunately, I see tonight’s game as another loss. Everton are improving under Fat Sam, they won’t gift us anything.

    Could be a long wait until the end of January to see if we actually buy the players we need to start winning games.