Saturday, 20 February 2010

It's Good To Be Home

After that, ahem, slip-up at Derby and a salvaged point at Swansea it feels wonderful to return to SJP and get back to winning ways.

As you undoubtedly are aware, my educated reader, Newcastle are the only club in the football league to still have an unbeaten home record this season and just recently it's got even better. In our last four home games we've racked up a maximum twelve points, an outstanding fourteen goals and we've conceded just two.

Special praise must go to Danish super striker, Peter Lovenkrands. The lad has managed to bag four goals in those four games but has only actually been on the pitch for 172 minutes. That's an average of a goal every 43 minutes. An outstanding spell of form underlined when he found the net after just three minutes against Preston on Saturday.

Let's hope the injury that forced him off the pitch after just 15 minutes of the same game isn't too serious. His recent form in front of goal has helped push us back to the top of the league, after the briefest of flirtations with second place.

The bad news is after two games at home we have to go away again next weekend. Watford the destination and the mid-table side don't have the worst of records at Vicarage Road. But it's not the hosts record that concerns me, it's the visitors.

A severe case of travel sickness has seen the Toon army fail to pick up victory away from home since 9th December. Some seven games ago. It's hard to put your finger on the problem, we have scored an acceptable seven goals and also picked up two clean sheets.

It's not good enough for title challengers but it's also not as bad as you might expect. Failure to win against ten men at Leicester stands out, as does the hammering received at Pride Park. But in the same period we've taken points off Barnsley, Sheffield United and Swansea who are far from walkovers.

Perhaps it's just one of those runs where things don't quite work out for you. A goal here, a block there and it could change the whole complexion the streak. If it carries on much longer, we may have a problem but as long as our home form props us up, we're OK.

So it's off to Watford, and whilst their more than respectable home record stands as it does (W7, D4, L3) there's just a feeling in my waters that it's about time we broke our duck. After all they have got to travel to Ipswich on Tuesday whereas we get an unprecedented week between fixtures.

Oh, and if I am wrong we'll be back in Toon the following week, so the pain shouldn't last too long.

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