Newcastle midfielder Jack Colback believes the fact that the Magpies have secured four draws over the past few weeks suggests that the team has gained some defensive solidity since the start of the campaign.
Until early February, Newcastle had drawn just one match in the league all season; that coming all the way back in late September in the 1-1 draw away at Aston Villa. Colback told the Chronicle that he feels the stalemates could well have been losses earlier in the campaign:
“We’d only drawn one game until a few weeks ago, and we were losing games when we shouldn’t have done really. But we’re a very solid team without the ball, teams find it difficult to break us down, and it’s normally a lucky goal or a bit of poor fortune on our part when we do concede. We’ve used that as our basis to be a solid team and we’ve also got the quality to ensure we can get the draw or win whenever we can.”
It must be said that three of the four draws since the start of February have been 2-2 draws, against Queens Park Rangers, Norwich City and Bristol City, all games that the Magpies could be said to have expected to win.
The Championship is however a very tough league, and the past three opponents coming against promotion candidates have garnered seven points out of nine, giving Rafa Benitez’s side a key advantage over their rivals heading into the last ten matches of the season.