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Opinion

Keep these 5 Newcastle United players fit and NUFC could be in business

3 months ago
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It was an excellent performance on Saturday for Newcastle United, three points away against a good Everton side.

Not many of us saw that coming, I certainly didn’t, but it was a welcome surprise –  a win on the back of a very good performance, no argument about it.

I couldn’t find fault with any of the Newcastle players to be perfectly honest, even Jeff Hendrick looked decent, he also covered a lot of ground and was only bettered by Miguel Almiron I believe on the stats.

If I had to be picky on anything, I might say Callum Wilson should have scored four, but given he’s now got 10 goals in 19 Premier League games and is largely the reason we are not in the bottom three, it would indeed be picky to make too much of the chances he didn’t take.

Amazing what can happen when a new coach arrives, players actually playing in their natural positions and what a difference it can make.

Graeme Jones no doubt played a big part, as that team was completely unrecognisable to the first 20 games we have seen this season, it is though only one game and will count for little if we fail to beat Crystal Palace at home on Tuesday night.

If this Everton game doesn’t give the players that lift and confidence boost they badly needed, then nothing will. It’s far too early to know how significant an impact Graeme Jones will have on this team, but if the players match that level of performance more often than not, then we simply won’t go down.

I don’t honestly think we would have this season anyway, but instead of finishing 16th or 17th, that performance indicates that the team is really not that bad and Steve Bruce has held them back badly, suggesting that whilst a top half finish may be beyond them now, finishing 11th or 12th is still a possibility.

The next seven games are home matches against Crystal Palace, Southampton, Wolves and Aston Villa, plus away games at Chelsea, Manchester United and West Brom. Newcastle have got to be looking at 11 points (three wins and two draws) from those fixtures, preferably the 11 points (OR MORE) can come from the five games that doesn’t include the Manchester United and Chelsea matches. If they do that, the chances are that they’ll be safe with 33 points (or more) with 10 games to spare.

I believe 31 points will be the safety buffer this season, so surely this team can win at least another three games somewhere…

As far as a top 10 finish goes, I believe around 51 points would get that, 29 points in 17 games would be a very good return (similar run of results to a certain Rafa Benitez in his last 17 games), though I don’t see that happening myself, but you never know.

It’s essential that Callum Wilson, Allan Saint-Maximin, Miguel Almiron, Ryan Fraser and Isaac Hayden stay fit as I believe they provide that platform for the kind of win we saw on Saturday.

With these five Newcastle United players on the pitch it allows the option to play the system that got the better of Everton, keep them fit and we have every chance of finishing the season well.

Comments welcome.

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