The win against Sheffield United has Newcastle up to the dizzy heights of 11th, now five points clear of the relegation zone.
It’s been a strong run of form for the Magpies, who have picked up 11 points from their last six games. The only real blip was defeat at Aston Villa, but Steve Bruce’s men have responded with a draw against the champions and a brilliant away win at Bramall Lane.
Things are starting to look a lot more positive for Bruce and Newcastle, despite a rough start to the campaign. And with three winnable fixtures next up, the top half is certainly in reach.
Newcastle are joined on 19 points with Arsenal and Sheffield United, but an inferior goal difference keeps us down in 11th. That 5-0 hammering at Leicester still lives long in the memory…
Our next three games are Southampton at home, Burnley away and Crystal Palace at home. All three will be tough, but each presents an opportunity to win.
There’s a feelgood factor emerging at Newcastle, and if we can carry on this momentum against Southampton on Sunday, we could be looking at the top half rather than the gap to the bottom three.
We’re only four points behind Wolves in fifth, which shows how close the ‘best of the rest’ are. Of course, the table is slightly skewed because of Tottenham, Arsenal and Manchester United’s woeful start.
But Newcastle are in a strong position. If they can win two out of their next three games, the Christmas period will be a little more relaxing. The shackles can come off.
Of course, the main objective is reaching 40 points and avoiding relegation, but why not dream? Europa League, anyone?
Then again, we could easily lose our three next games and slide down the table once again. The perils of being an inconsistent side in the Premier League…