Newcastle United are languishing just above the drop zone in 17th. The situation has become so dire, that Mike Ashley has put all talks of him selling the club on the back burner for the moment. That is the last thing Newcastle fans want to hear.
The news this morning that both Miguel Almiron and Allan Saint-Maximin will be out for up to six weeks due to the injuries they picked up at Wolves, has hit awfully hard. Steve Bruce will have to try to cobble together an attack without our front three of Almiron, Saint-Maximin, and Callum Wilson for the foreseeable future.
That means it’s time for some fringe Magpies to step into the limelight and put in performances for the club. Players like Dwight Gayle, Jacob Murphy, Matt Ritchie, and Andy Carroll could now be relied upon along with Joelinton and Ryan Fraser to get the goals to keep Newcastle afloat.
Andy Carroll was interviewed after today’s training session by NUFC TV and was asked about players stepping into the massive void left by the injuries to Wilson, Almiron, and Saint-Maximin. This was his response:
“I’ve been waiting. I would like to say I could see myself in the starting lineup at the weekend but it’s the gaffer’s choice at the end of the day.
“I’ve been working hard, I’ve been fit every day. If it comes, I’m hopefully going to take it, get on the scoresheet, and get us a win.”
Wins have been hard to come by lately and that has led to our dire predicament in the table. Newcastle have managed just 2 victories in our last 15 league matches, picking up just 9 points over that period.
While the performances have improved since Bruce adopted the 4-3-3 system, the lads still have left too many points on the pitch. That was clearly evident in the 1-1 draw against Wolves last weekend.
Now without our three biggest goal threats, the plight to pick up points has become much more difficult. Bruce also may not have the quality at his disposal to keep with the new system.
But this is the situation until at least next month. There are three crucial matches left in March that Newcastle have to navigate with this depleted squad.
Carroll was asked about the improved performances but the inability to turn most of them into wins. This is what Andy had to say:
“We’ve been playing well. We played well against Wolves. We played well against Man United. We should have probably got something.
“We have been creating a lot of chances, a lot of balls in the box, a lot of shots. We just haven’t converted them at the minute. It’ll come and if it’s this weekend, it’s going to be great.
“It’s massive. Every game is like a cup final now. Every game is getting harder and harder. We’re not really producing the results that we want at the minute.
“We’re going to go out there at the weekend and try to get the three points we need and to be honest, we probably deserve.”
The situation has turned beyond dire at the moment. It could even be worse by kick-off on Sunday at the Hawthorns. Fulham play Tottenham at Craven Cottage on Thursday and a win will see them overtake Newcastle in the table. They then travel to take on Liverpool directly after our match at West Brom.
Newcastle cannot afford to just hope that results around the league go our way. Wins are vital and every match is now a cup final. Whoever gets the call while our stars are out will hopefully be up for the monumental task ahead.