Newcastle have put together a decent run which has seen them climb to 13th in the Premier League, but staying in the division should still be the target for now.

The Magpies currently sit just two points behind fifth placed Sheffield United, and seven above Watford in 18th, but it is too soon to start thinking about anything other than ensuring nothing worse than a 17th placed finish in May.

(Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images)

It might sound pessimistic and negative, and in many ways it is, but to start setting unachieveble aims, will just exert pressure onto a side that is currently starting to find their form.

To be fair to Steve Bruce, according to the Shields Gazette, when asked of his aspirations for the club after the Bournemouth win, he stressed it was the same as it was when he arrived “to finish as high as we can”.

The form table, compiled from the last five games, shows Newcastle in fourth place, behind Chelsea, who are top, Liverpool and Leicester, as the only sides to attain double-figured points during that spell.

(Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

There is no doubt there has been a upturn in fortunes, and it is testament to the squad that they have managed to improve, despite continuing to find goals non-existent from their forwards.

The hammering at Leicester could have gone one of two ways: the team could have seen their confidence and self-belief destroyed, and capitulated insurmountably; or they could have got together, taken stock of the situation and used it to galvanise themselves.

Thankfully, it has been the latter, with the results being there for all to see.

Even the one defeat in their last five – at Stamford Bridge against an in-form Chelsea – showed a different Newcastle to the one that was torn apart by the Foxes.

 

On another day, Newcastle could have picked up a fortunate point against Frank Lampard’s side.

There are still a lot of games between now and May

(Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

But no one should be getting greedy. This is the same Newcastle squad that caved to Norwich, flattered to deceive against Brighton and Watford, and surrendered the advantage against Wolves.

Realism is the keyword for Newcastle fans. We rightly should be enjoying the fun while it lasts, and in a perfect world it will continue until May. But it is unlikely to be that way, and a season of ups and downs still lies ahead.

And while, as much as we should not get too carried away by this superb run, fans should also not be too critical when things are not going all Newcastle’s way in future weeks and months.

It is a balancing act, and too many times we have seen Newcastle wrestle failure from the jaws of success, which means – as we did under Rafa Benitez – we should be cautiously optimistic of our survival chances, and only when it is achieved should we aim higher.

Supporting Newcastle is always a roller-coaster love affair, and it is unlikely to be any different this time around.

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