In reality, beating Huddersfield on the final day of March probably ensured Newcastle United were staying up, with 35 points reached and those at the bottom not able to buy a win.

A 2-1 victory at Leicester a week later, putting United on 38 points, meant even the most pessimistic Newcastle fan now believed safety had been reached with six games to spare.

As for Rafa Benitez, beating Arsenal and moving on to 41 points was the clincher for him.

Monday night then saw a relegation six pointer with West Ham taking on Stoke, the 19th placed Potters surely needing a win to stand any chance of survival.

A desperate game then saw a dramatic finale, as substitute Peter Crouch scored a crucial goal with 11 minutes remaining, following a shocking mistake by Joe Hart.

However, the final seconds saw another sub, Andy Carroll, pounce with a superb goal, on his return from a latest three month injury break.

Current Premier League Table:

newcastle united

That result leaves Stoke on 28 points, 13 behind Newcastle United, so with four games now remaining they can’t catch Rafa’s team, as is the case with West Brom.

Which takes us to Thursday night, Leicester host Southampton and if the Foxes win, the Saints would also be left 13 points behind Newcastle with only four games and 12 points for them left to play for.

A Leicester victory making it mathematically certain that Newcastle United are a Premier League team next season.

Ironically, with Newcastle’s superb run of four wins in a row, five wins and a draw in the last seven, we are now looking up rather than down.

So in reality we will surely be hoping that Southampton actually win on Thursday, as that would leave Newcastle only two points behind 8th placed Leicester and with a game in hand.

Whilst other fans moan that there is nothing  left to play for, Newcastle supporters are desperate for their team to finish as high as possible, the battle for eighth is where it is at!

With the remaining games including matches against Spurs and Chelsea, as well as Fat Sam’s Everton next Monday night, no chance of this season now fading quietly away.

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    Big Andy came on as a sub last night & caused the usual havoc plus he scored with a cracking left foot drive.
    It`s tragic the guy`s had so many injuries as he is a top class striker

    • Dingus

      Remember that goal for England against Sweden? One of my favourite football moments. Those poor centre-backs had no chance! He’s one of the best at what he does. A real shame about his injury record

    • Mark

      The way he plays puts him in danger of getting an injury but if he lost some of that aggression he would only be half the player he is, so its a no win situation. I would say its a shame because he could have had a great career which would probably include being an England regular, but lets not forget he’s made a few bob on the way.

    • Peaky

      Safe to say he’s not too popular round these parts after that equaliser last night….

  • Dingus

    Looks as though the Leicester and Everton players are already on their jollies. Our lot are showing so much commitment that an 8th place finish really wouldn’t surprise me. Top half alone would be incredible. I don’t remember feeling this optimistic at the end of a Premier League season.

    Huge credit to Burnley as well. If Arsenal continue giving the kids game time (which I’m a huge proponent of) Burnley might sneak 6th. Great stuff.

    • Viru leckworth

      Allardyce won’t relax on Monday, he doesn’t like us. I still think we will get a result though- especially as I have darned my lucky socks.

  • Geordie-7676

    Lets not forget, that our last 2 games are against Chelsea and Spurs – i personally think that by the time we face them, they will have very little to play for, chelsea safely in 5th with spurs in the champions league places (If they are still fighting for 2nd or 3rd we may face a stiffer test).

    With little to play for, and the majority of their squads gearing up for world cups, i see 2 extremely changed squads fielding against us – nobody is going to want to risk picking up an injury on the last game of the season, when the game is little more than a requirement to play.

    Honestly, i could see us picking up 3 wins and 2 draws out of the last 5 games with the way we are playing, and favorable circumstances!!!

    • Mark Potter

      But now we reached safety our own players might relax a little, and Rafa is bound to give some of the squad more opportunities. Every place we gain increases the prize money, but most of the money is earned from how many games are televised, and final league position does not count for an awful lot – Sunderland picked up £90m last season despite how bad they were.

      Do players care if we come 9th or 10th? Do fans? The remaining games could produce all sorts of strange results.

      • Geordie-7676

        I think the Newcastle players do – this is a massive opportunity for each and every one of them to stick 2 fingers up at all the pundits who said they weren’t good enough for this league. Very few gave us even a chance of staying up, so if we have the ability to finish 8th, i think the players will target that with everything that they have.

        We have only a handful of internationals, so world cup worries are at a minimum, and as for televised games, its a well known fact, that the higher up the league you are (Regularly of course) the more they put you on the box.

        And i certainly care how high up we finish. i would love to finish above everton and leicester. How mmuch did everton spend in the summer compared to us? Weren’t leicester champions 2 years ago? To finish above them, again, is a great way of showing all those North hating thunderb******s just how wrong they were!!!!

  • MadMag83

    I’d like a Southampton win just to keep Swansea in the mire.

  • Come&TakeIt1836

    I’d prefer Swansea, Huddersfield, and Brighton to stay up as I think they are the most likely to remain weaker sides on the whole than NUFC next year (not that there won’t be others, too). Comparatively, Southampton or Stoke might recover to mid-table with proper coaching next year so having them drop helps NUFC. One or two of the club’s coming up may have owners willing to throw their own money around and I think we will need one more year of tv money-level transfers after this summer to really be more or less insulated against a bad luck drop.

    We are looking up for the end of this season and we should be looking up into the next season and beyond particularly if Rafa extends his contract but keeping the rivals with the lowest ‘ceiling’ to their likely accomplishment does no harm to that aim.

  • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

    All of us who have bets on survival must be looking forward to a pay out tomorrow? Desree has to wire £100 from Australia, how about that.