Another week , another win!

Eight games unbeaten and a seemingly doomed situation in January seems no more than a bad memory now as United continue to haul themselves away from a relegation scrap.

Of all the results in this spell this was probably the hardest to get . Brighton are no world beaters and a sliding fast, but they pass, pass, pass and change formation within minutes. Lamptey was a full back one minute then the most prominent attacker the next. The simple fact of the matter though they didn’t hurt us despite dominating possession. The reason ? because we were disciplined as a team.

The defence, led by Burn, were outstanding with Targett, Krafth and Schar not far behind. We may have been pressed back , but it was calculated. No Watford debacles here.

Howe obviously had said let Brighton have the ball but contain them to a part of the pitch where they couldn’t hurt us and the midfield’s hard working if unspectacular display delights me just as much as we ground out a vital win.

We have played better and lost this season and we might be at last getting a bit of luck but it doesn’t matter to me, these sorts of results are so satisfying. Its what good well organised clubs do. Get used to it.

Scott Robson

Another game another 3 points in the bag as we now sit an inconceivable 7 points clear of the clarts.

Before I crack on, I wanted to say a massive well done to @worflags for another superb display yesterday. You’ve been instrumental in the change in the atmosphere in SJP since the takeover. Hats off to you all…

I thought we were relatively poor yesterday as the match went. Brighton outplayed us across the park and we were fortunate that they were so powder puff up front. I don’t want to sound negative as we stretched the unbeaten run to 8 games, but some out the midfield looked a little leggy yesterday, and I am expecting Eddie to freshen it up for the long trip to St Mary’s on Thursday, which I’ll be looking at in more detail on my preview later in the week.

Walking out of SJP with another massive smile on my face yesterday was glorious. We’ve come so far under the tutorledge of Eddie and the back-room staff, and a massive Kudos to everyone concerned.

We look like a squad who cares…. A squad who fights for every ball… A squad who genuinely cares about NUFC.

Special mentions to Joelinton (yet again) Schar and Burn yesterday. BDB was man of the match for me, but he was run close by the aforementioned duo.

Imagine playing so poorly and still coming up with the win (a first in the PL against Brighton.)

Special times are a-coming for the Toon Army, and I can’t wait… 

Howay the Lads –

@peekeekay – Paul Karter

Eddie Howe’s phenomenal revival of Newcastle continues. You’d have to be an absolute joyless arsehole to look for negatives after yet another home win, but luckily for you I am one, so here goes:

I’d been talking to superb TF scribe Yousef earlier this week about how I felt that Howe was wringing every ounce of performance out of his players, and that it wasn’t sustainable for the rest of the season. At some point, concentration levels will drop; work rate will drop. For some players, that day was today.

While publicly Wor Eddie was full of praise for his players at full time, privately I’d expect him to be deeply concerned as we frankly did not deserve to win that match. Brighton were better organised, passed and moved the ball better, and were more aggressive with the press. Joelinton covered every blade of grass, but Shelvey and Willock were disappointing in their use of the ball. Credit to Brighton for denying our midfield the time and place to play, but we still gave the ball away far too often, especially after the interval. We looked much more composed once Bruno came on and he will surely replace Shelvey sooner rather than later in the starting 11.

Much like Ritchie and ASM, Krafth and Murphy simply does not work as a duo. Brighton were surprisingly direct in the first half, and it became very quickly clear that their game plan was to get Wellbeck one-on-one with Krafth, the weakest link in our line-up. They played us off the park in the first ten minutes, only to be sucker punched by our counterattack.

Wood’s delectable dummy in the centre circle was only outdone by his perfectly weighted pass to put Murphy in on goal. Of course, the winger did his best to miss but Fraser was alert to the rebound off the post and tucked it away with aplomb. The second goal knocked the stuffing out of Brighton,as Schar exploited a Dan Burn-sized hole in Brighton’s back line to power a header home from a free kick. We were 2-0 up after 15 minutes – what was going on?

We should have wrapped up the points before the half time whistle. The pitch was as wet as the floor of the Beehive bogs and a slip by Brighton’s centre half gifted Murphy a gilt-edged opportunity. If only he had squared the ball to Fraser instead of trying to score with his left peg, we’d have gone in 3-0 up.

Predictably, Brighton bounced back big time in the second half. They turned the game into a real contest after Wood seemingly forgot to mark Lewis Dunk and the Brighton captain capitalised on the free header he was offered. Dubravka also made a crucial save to keep us in front and several Newcastle players blocked goal-bound shots. We hung on, and the players deserve credit for that, but I walked out of SJP feeling underwhelmed for the first time this year.

I genuinely don’t want to kill anyone’s buzz – we’re unbeaten in eight games, with five wins in six, and are seven points clear of the relegation zone.However, we’re not safe yet and will have to perform much better than that if we’re going to take points from the three away games remaining this month. Of course, an undeserved three points is still three points. But the dips in quality, concentration, and work rate should sound a note of caution for even the most jubilant of fans. Howe’s job now is to ensure that today’s performance was a blip rather than the start of a slide in standards.

Dan Jenkins – @PlumsGinger

After a couple of matches on the road down the capital, a sold out St James Park was the location for the latest  instalment of the Premier League as Newcastle hosted Brighton.

Eddie Howe named an unchanged starting eleven from the side that beaten Brentford last weekend but there was a place on the bench for winger Allan Saint-Maximin who has missed out recently with injury.

Graham Potter made four changes to his Brighton line up as Duffy, Alzate, Gross and Welbeck were named in the starting eleven.

After a touching minutes applause for Ukraine, the visiting side for the game underway. Ryan Fraser had the first chance of the game after just two minutes when he was played in by Jacob Murphy but his effort was comfortably saved by Sanchez. It wasn’t long before the home fans were celebrating though as Ryan Fraser fired home in the 11th minute, Jacob Murphy raced up the pitch following a through ball by Chris Wood and chipped Sanchez which hit the post but Ryan Fraser was on hand to tuck away the rebound. Three minutes later the Magpies doubled their lead through Fabian Schar who headed home from Ryan Fraser’s free kick. Martin Dubravka was called into action just before the half hour mark when he had to deny Danny Welbeck at his near post, a rare chance by Brighton. Jacob Murphy had a golden opportunity to make it 3-0 just before half time when Brighton lost the ball at the back but his effort was straight at the goalkeeper who saved comfortably. The half time whistle blew and despite the visiting side having 64% possession, Newcastle looked the better team by a long way and have been strong on the counter.

The Magpies got the second half started as they shot towards the Gallowgate End which is a bit of a tradition in these parts. Brighton pulled a goal back just before the 55th minute mark when Lewis Dunk headed home inside the penalty from a corner kick, the Brighton defender losing his marker far too easily. Eddie Howe brought on Allan Saint-Maximin just after the hour mark as the home side struggled to get in their stride in the early stages of the second period. As the game entered the final quarter, Brighton looked the better team and if there was going to be a goal scored it would be by them. Trossard came close to levelling things up with ten minutes left to play with an effort from the centre of the box which had to be saved by Dubravka to his bottom right corner. Somehow the home side managed to see the game out to the final whistle and the match finished 2-1.

Sutty’s Full Time Thoughts: A real tale of two halves as the magpies hold on to extend their unbeaten run and have finally ended their search for a home win against The Seagulls in the Premier League . After a solid display during the first half by the hosts, they would perhaps consider themselves lucky to come away with the three points as Brighton were the better side in the second period. We were nervous and careless on the ball which could have resulted in a different score line had Brighton been more clinical which they are capable of. A scrappy win which would have not been the case had it been earlier on in the season.

What’s Next?Newcastle travel to Southampton on Thursday 10th March with a 19:30 KO whilst Brighton & Hove Albion host Liverpool on Saturday 12th March in the 12:30 KO.

Newcastle United Line Up:M Dubravka, M Targett, F Schar, D Burn, E Krafth, Joelinton, J Shelvey, J Willock (93,S Longstaff), R Fraser (78, B Guimaraes), C Wood, J Murphy (62, A Saint-Maximin).

Newcastle United Bench: K Darlow, P Dummett, J Lascelles, J Manquillo, S Longstaff, B Guimaraes, M Almiron, A Saint-Maximin, D Gayle.

Brighton & Hove Albion Line Up:R Sanchez, L Dunk, S Duffy, J Veltman, T Lamptey (58, S March), M Cucurella, P Gross, J Moder (58, N Maupay), S Alzate (78, A Mac Allister), L Trossard, D Welbeck.

Brighton & Hove Albion Bench:J Steele, H Roberts , Y Bissouma, A Mac Allister, A Lallana, S March, M Caicedo, N Maupay, E Ferguson.

Match Officials:Martin Atkinson (Referee), Constantine Hatzidakis & James Mainwaring (Assistant’s), Chris Kavanagh (Fourth Official), Lee Mason (VAR), Richard West (Assistant VAR).

@jsuttonwrites