Captain Steps Up In Managers Absence

Back To Back Wins After Magpies Down Swans

Newcastle followed up their first win of the season over West Ham by notching maximum points and a first win on the road at Swansea on Sunday in front of the Sky cameras.

After the doom and gloom following another disappointing transfer window it is great to see the squad pulling together and seemingly looking to start doing the business on the pitch.

Yes it is early days still and no disrespect but I have to say the opposition we have beaten in both games have been poor but these are exactly the type of games we need to be looking to take 3 points from when playing the teams that are likely to be around us and no matter who you beat I dont think it can be understated how difficult it can be to get back to back wins in the Premier League certainly if you are not one of the big sides.

What our squad maybe lacks in outright quality I think it certainly makes up for in team spirit and organisation compared to teams of the past and that should hopefully stand us in good stead.

Ill be honest I thought we might struggle on Sunday maybe grabbing a point at best but we played well and in the end probably just about deserved it which was even more of an achievement given the absence through illness of Rafa Benitez.

Credit must go to both the coaching staff and the players for stepping up to the plate and grinding out what was a pretty much perfect away performance.

Stand out performer was without a doubt skipper Jamaal Lascelles who popped up to head home the only goal minutes after a goal saving clearance down the other end. He gets stick from some at times but for me he has all the attributes with a bit of work to become an excellent centre half.

He certainly wasnt alone with everyone chipping in - Clark next to him was again excellent, Jesus Gamez coming in at left back was steady and probably not far behind Lascelles in the man of the match reckoning was Merino who once again impressed massively.

All the pre match talk was about Renato Sanches but our loan signing from Germany without a doubt looked far superior.

Early days of course for both of them but Merino just looks to have a bit of everything about him. Good on the ball and at passing as you would expect from a Spanish midfielder but suprisingly physical too as he is quite a big lad as opposed to your usual stereotypical diminutive playmakers.

Another good shift from Joselu too up top who was unlucky not to score again were it not for a stunning save from Fabianski in the first half.

Without wanting to be too critical the only player I was a little disappointed with was Jacob Murphy who started for the first time in the league ahead of Atsu.

Look hes a young lad who has made a big step up so I am sure there is more to come but I have to say on first impressions I just thought he looked a little out of his depth. Put in a decent shift but just thought against a fairly average opposition it was a chance for him to really stake a claim for a start.

Like I say that is probably being slightly harsh on the lad but really that was the only slight disappointment for me although I think that was probably down to the fact that I was just so keen to see him impress as I find Atsu a frustrating player to watch at times although true to form he did well when he came on.

So another 3 points that sees us currently sit comfortably in mid table. Of course there are bigger challenges to come but one things for sure I think for once we have a group of players that at least look up for the fight - long may that continue and Saturday sees an excellent opportunity at home to Stoke to keep this run going.

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