Newcastle United’s win over Brentford felt like a big one.
While a fairly scrappy 1-0 victory at St James’ Park over a team Newcastle twice beat with relative ease last season might not seem like a particularly big deal, context must be applied.
Nick Pope finally got another clean sheet, while the changes Eddie Howe was able to make keep the squad fresh for the Champions League.
Still, few would suggest that was easy.
Indeed, after three defeats on the spin, you could forgive the team for feeling nervous, particularly not long after they squandered a lead over Liverpool.
Sky Sports pundit Don Goodman certainly noticed something.
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Don Goodman surprised by the lack of energy inside St James’ Park
Goodman was providing the insight during the game and couldn’t help but notice St James’ feeling a little flat.
The pundit said during the broadcast (via Sky Sports’ LIVE blog at 18.43): “This is usually one of the most bouncing and rocking stadiums in the world but it’s very quiet.”
Nerves are only natural
Though Brentford have proven themselves as a very competitive team during their time in the Premier League, anything other than three points given the run Newcastle have been on would have been a disaster.
With that in mind, nerves inside the stadium are only natural. It was only a few weeks ago, after all, that Newcastle shot themselves in the foot by not putting the Liverpool game to bed before Darwin Nunez scored a late brace.
It’s completely understandable that the mood would be a little low. Indeed, it was hardly a vintage performance from Howe’s side after all, only adding to the nerves.
The most important thing, however, is that Newcastle got the three points they so badly needed.
Now, AC Milan await in the Champions League…