Eddie Howe has refused to get carried away with Newcastle United’s recent run of good form.
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Saturday’s ultimately nervy 2-1 win at home to Brighton extended the club’s unbeaten run to eight consecutive games, only increasing the chances of Premier League survival.
Given just how well things have been going of late, it’s getting increasingly difficult to see a situation in which Newcastle are relegated, which is a pretty amazing thing to suggest considering the team’s position prior to the January transfer window. Clearly, new signings have helped, but the most remarkable thing about the rapid-fire improvement has been Howe’s ability to coax the best out of the players he inherited.
Ryan Fraser and Fabian Schar, who scored as Newcastle won yet again, have been two of the most obvious examples of that, while Joelinton, Jonjo Shelvey and Joe Willock are others.
What did Howe say about the relegation battle?
Still, the Newcastle head coach isn’t getting carried away.
Speaking to the club’s social media channel after the win at St James’ Park, Howe suggested his team were still in the battle.
“I still think we’re in a relegation battle,” he said.
“It’s important the players feel that because we can’t stop. We have a really difficult run of games so today was very important. It’s lifted us in terms of points but we haven’t achieved anything yet.”
Is he right?
Well, sitting seven points above the drop zone is certainly a healthy position to be in.
Burnley have now played the same number of games too while Leeds United look to be struggling, so there is definitely a buffer.
However, Newcastle face three difficult games in the space of seven days next week with away trips to Southampton, Everton and Chelsea. Lose all of those which, while pessimistic, isn’t out of the question entirely and things could look very different.
Right now, the team just need to take each game as it comes and try to reach 35 points (a tally enough to keep a team in the division for the past three seasons) as soon as possible.