Having witnessed Newcastle United be relegated twice in my lifetime, and being only 29 years old, I find myself being more hopeful of survival this season than those two previous. Maybe it's me being blinded by my faith in Eddie Howe and also still being in the honeymoon period since the takeover. However I try and find logic in my thought process and I'm still confident there is enough in that squad to drag us over the line. Although the majority of that squad are destined to play championship football post their Newcastle careers, I see work ethic and fight which is more than I can say about those other squads that relieved us of our Premier League status back in 2008 and 2016.
Our most recent performance against Norwich on Tuesday night was something I could only appreciate and clap from my front room as the players left the field. There is no doubt that Ciaran Clark crippled the team that evening by producing something that you wouldn't see in an under 12's game on a Saturday morning, which resulted in Newcastle playing with ten men for over 80 minutes. In those 80 minutes I saw ten very committed players who I thought were actually very unlucky not to get the win that evening. Had it not been for an incredible strike by Teemu Pukki on 77 minutes, we would have taken all three points. I see this as a positive point rather than a negative one, and I believe if we produce the same fight against Burnley and go against the odds and pick up a shock result in our Christmas fixtures run in, I think we can go into the New Year not cut adrift which is the fear at the moment among the Geordie faithful.
All eyes will be on that January transfer window, with rumours we are set to spend big in order to secure our Premier League survival. There is no doubt the area of concern is at the back and that is an area we will need to invest in. It will be tricky to collate a list of players now who we could bring in, but if we followed the Manchester City model and brought in players like they did back in 2008 under the new owners first transfer window, then we could be in a much healthier position come Easter. The likes of Shaun Wright-Phillips, Wayne Bridge, Pablo Zabaleta, Nigel De-Jong and of course our very own Shay Given were pivotal in those early stages for setting a platform to build on.
Although being told it's curtains for the Toon Army by many, I'm confident in our coach and the work ethic in this group. The natural talent is very shy, but having watched the likes of Michael Owen, Damian Duff, Georginio Wijnaldum, Moussa Sissoko and many more within those two relegation periods, who you could argue could have kept us up single-handedly, I'm more comforted by this squad and the effort they'll put in. There is no doubt this will be an incredible achievement by those in the dugout if we stay up, with some saying this will be more impressive than England winning the next World Cup in Qatar (which I do not believe by the way....).