Will this lead slip?
It is very tight in the championship title race right now with just 7 points splitting the top 3 and just one point between the top 2, with our bad(ish) form right now, the question is once again raised: is this going to slip?
I think there are 3 possible answers to this question. The first one being that these last 3 games have just been a blip and we will resume our top form after the international break. The second one being that it IS going to slip, and Brighton will go back to being Brighton. Beating all the little teams as we continue to play diabolical football. Or the third outcome is that the magpies will limp to the finish line while Brighton and Huddersfield mimic our recent form. I will be going through all 3 of these possibilities, and seeing how realistic they are based on fixtures and current form.
It's just a blip! (1st possibility)
This is something I've heard come up from numerous toon fans over the past few days. And to be fair, this is VERY realistic. As our next two games are both at home, and are against 23rd place Wigan Athletic and 21st place Burton Albion. Both are teams that we've beaten before this season. (2-0 and 2-1) However, both wins came away from home, which is where we've really racked up points this season and we've lost more points against 'easy' teams than I have fingers and toes. And not to mention our difficult fixtures after those two games, which include Leeds, Sheffield Wednesday and Barnsley, it's not going to be easy at all and I think we'll lose at least one of those matches. However, we have the double against Brighton and this is the longest we've went without a win, (3 games) which probably means we will win our next game. Obviously, this is the possibility I hope will happen, but you never know with Newcastle...
It will slip, we're finished! (2nd possibility)
This is the worst possibility out of the 3, and will anger many Toon fans. But this seems to be once again scarily edging closer to reality. Brighton have one of the easiest remaining fixture list out of most if not all teams in this division. A list Consisting of teams like Bristol, Blackburn, Birmingham, Aston Villa, Wigan and Wolves. (there is more but you get the idea) And the hard games are over for Brighton. Which luckily for us, have mostly ended in defeat with their most recent being a 2-0 loss away to Leeds. But we've seen what Brighton can do to smaller teams already this year, and we've also seen how poor we are at home since 5 of our next (and final) 7 fixtures are at home. Falling to 2nd place (or even third if Huddersfield keep their pre-Bristol City form up) seems like it really could happen once again at the end of the season. And finally, Huddersfield have a game in hand to us and Brighton having only played 37 this season.
We'll bottle it, but so will Brighton and Huddersfield! (3rd possibility)
This is something I could take. But it would dishearten me leading up towards a Premier League return. Which is not what you want to feel leading up to a new season. But the amount of times I've seen teams all the way up the play off places and a bit higher bottle a higher position is ludicrous. Mainly the amount of times Brighton have bottled the chance to get a firm point gap against us. And giving that Huddersfield just lost 4-0 to relegation battling Bristol City last Friday, That has supposedly knocked them out of the title race. And Brighton seem to annually mess it all up at the end of the season. With those odds, it almost sounds safe to loose games. But lets stray away from that. Just keep winning and laugh as our rivals fade away.
I think the most realistic out of the three is that this is just a blip. But just another injury and I could completely change my mind. Time will tell if Newcastle will slip up or get their act together, which is crumbling away as each game goes by now.