Dust ourselves down and get back on that top 4 horse

I do not want to dwell on Thursday nights defeat too much.

With games coming thick and fast, we need to put it to the back of our minds, dust ourselves down and get back on the positivity train.

All I will have to say on it was there were 3 contentious decisions. All 3, if given, would have been considered soft. 2 were given, one not. The two that were given were against Arsenal, the one that was not given benefited Spurs.

Was it corruption? The TV companies fixing games for an exciting finish? Probably not. But it just shows how incompetent our referees are.

Looking forward, we have a game against Newcastle on Monday to get ourselves up for.

6 months ago, the trip looked like 3 points in the bag.

Newcastle would likely have been relegated, and a half empty, angry Geordie crowd would not exactly inspire the team to victory.

Since January 1st, Newcastle are one of the most inform teams in the league – Only Manchester City, Liverpool and Tottenham have won more points.

A lot will point to the colossal amount of money they spent in the January transfer window as the reason for their survival, but I think this takes away credit from Eddie Howe.

Chris Wood and Dan Burn have been solid, if unexceptional acquisitions whilst Bruno Guimarães took a bit of time to settle but is now putting in performances that are already attracting suitors.

What Howe has done is get a tune out of most of Newcastle’s existing underperformers. The likes of Joelinton, Jonjo Shelvey, Miguel Almiron and Ryan Fraser.

So credit where is due, Howe has done a great job for them.

The Newcastle fixture now looks a very different proposition.

It will be a packed stadium with 48,000 bouncing Geordies fuelled on Greggs looking to sign off the season with a bang in their last home game of the season.

The hope is now that they are safe from relegation some of their players might return to their earlier season form with their minds on the beach rather than the pitch.

They have lost their last two games – but these were against Manchester City and Liverpool so not much can be read into it.

Prior to those defeats, they won 4 in a row.

The lads will be back in training today, getting ready for Monday’s big game.

Mikel Arteta will need to get the players relaxed and mentally ready. Forgot about Thursday. Move on. And come away from Newcastle with 3 points.

Keenos

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