STRIKER SORROW FOR THE MAGPIES
With two wins in their last three league outings, the gloomy clouds over Newcastle’s St James’ Park are just starting to lighten up and after earning six points from the last nine on offer, the Magpies have made a suitable stride towards safety.
Much of their mini resurgence has been down to the arrival of Graeme Jones and with the former Luton manager joining Steve Bruce’s coaching staff, there is has been a far greater impetus on the attack.
To the point where Newcastle have looked like a different team altogether, one that is almost unrecognisable from a month or so ago and after their latest injury announcement, the starting eleven will now have to take on another guise.
That’s because, the club have recently announced the news, that talisman Callum Wilson is set to be ruled out for the next six to eight weeks and just when they thought some momentum was being generated, they have been dealt something of a massive blow.
With just 25 goals being scored in the league thus far, Wilson has been responsible of 10 those and this means, his season percentage contribution is a rather hefty 40% - one that is arguably too much for any one player at any one club.
That is the scenario that Newcastle find themselves in and it is here, where their over-reliance in the former Bournemouth forward could seriously come back to haunt them and suddenly, their two recent league wins look even more important.
Because without those additional six points, Newcastle would be just four clear of the relegation zone and without the man who is responsible for such a large percentage of all their attacking efforts.
However, with the recent wins over Everton and Southampton in the bag, Steve Bruce’s men find themselves 10 points clear of the drop at the time of writing and they will hope that is enough of a buffer to get them over the line.
Usually at this point of the season, we begin to talk about the magic 40-point marker and how that is the benchmark in terms of earning Premier League safety. Then again, on the evidence of the trio that are currently in the bottom three, it does not look like such a tally will be necessary this time.
Which may give Newcastle at least some reason to be cheerful and look for a positive in what has been an increasingly tough week for the club, as defenders Javier Manquillo and Fabian Schar have also been ruled out for a similar length of time.
This means that the Tyneside outfit have lost three players for the best part of two months and all within the space of a week and now Steve Bruce will have to workout how to redesign his patchwork quilt of a squad.
On the evidence of what we’ve recently witnessed, Newcastle should just have enough to stay up this season and now the players are going to have to dig in, to make sure there is nothing in the way of a spectacular collapse.