Saturday, 27 March 2010

A Right Royal Result

Here's one for you? When is a win not a win? When it's a draw.

Title rivals West Brom stumbled in their promotion push as they missed a golden opportunity to regain top spot from the Toon for the first time in nine games.

The Baggies draw with in-form Reading was just the tonic Newcastle needed to calm their nerves ahead of their crunch game against Nottingham Forest on Monday night. The players now know that even if they should suffer defeat at fortress St. James' they will still retain top spot in the Championship.

Monday's game is a golden opportunity to all-but secure promotion with a win pushing the Toon a massive 13 points clear of third placed Forest, with a game in hand. With just six games left Forest will have a maximum of just 18 points remaining and it would take a collapse of dramatic proportions to see Newcastle fail to secure an automatic promotion slot.

Once promotion is secured they can focus on taking home a trophy and seeing off the resilient Baggies. The men from the Black-country have stuck with Newcastle throughout the course of the season, but with two games in hand the Magpies can give themselves a seven point bumper before tackling the final six games.

However the players must now finish the job. The club has come so far from the heart-breaking final day defeat at Aston Villa last season and learnt harsh lessons along the way. But now we find ourselves within touching distance of the Premier League, an achievement that will mean the squad have well and truly earned their Summer holiday, for once!

It's so close, I can almost taste the inevitable disappointment. HTL.

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