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Newcastle 0 City 1

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Back to back away wins and all of a sudden we are beginning to banish memories of so long without an away to distant memory, and seeing a reversal of our home form being the factor that is ensuring our Premiership safety.

Two tricky looking away games in the North-East have yielded a six-point haul (where we would have probably settled with a point from each) and given the results of Charlton (and to a lesser extent West Ham) it is just as well, as for all intents and purposes points wise we are no better off than we were this time two weeks ago.

What the past two games have done though, is not only brought other teams (Villa, Fulham and Middlesbrough) into the equation, but seen us put a distance between ourselves and Sheffield United and Wigan.

By all accounts it was a rather drab encounter yesterday, with my suggestion in the preview that we would keep it tight and try a nick a winner coming true - something which clearly irked Glenn Roeder, as did Stuart Pearce's post-match comments that there are now eight teams in the relegation 'race'.

It was good to see Mpenza score another goal - and at this rate he could end up as the seasons leading scorer. Hopefully as he gets fitter towards the end of the season this will continue, and Pearce will see fit to offer a longer term deal. Also pleasing was the return of Nedum Omouha and the inclusion once again of Michael Johnson who looks to have a definite role in the side.

We can breathe a little easier given the events of the past two weeks now, but critically the Easter period is well renowned for helping shape and decide some of the key events of the season.

We do have some tricky games coming up between now and the end of the season, so the possibility of reaching 40 points by next Monday is a nice prospect and whilst the forthcoming Charlton game in particular doesn't hold quite the importance it may once have done, it is still a key game, but one in which we have afforded ourselves a little cushion in.

Reaction:
"It's going to be very tight until the end of the
season.....any three teams from eight can still get relegated and Newcastle are
among those eight. If you ask Glenn (Roeder) he would probably say that us
beating Newcastle was a fair result and I couldn't disagree with him. There's
still pressure on to win next week but that's the beauty of the job. That's what
makes winning so special".
-Stuart Pearce.
"It was a terrific victory, we worked really hard for
it. We went into the game with a plan, and we’re happy that we came out on the
right side of the result.
Every game now is really important, everybody
knows that and after this win there’s another couple of clubs who are looking
over their shoulders.
"The win shows our resilience in being able to graft
two really tough victories away from home, and also to have those wins
sandwiched in the middle by the international break."
-Joey Barton.


Reports:

Telegraph
Times
Observer
King of the Kippax