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Top five status isn't a surprise to everybody at Newcastle United

By Lee Ryder on Feb 2, 12 10:46 AM

james perch.jpg

Phil Thompson (from his comfy studio chair) couldn't believe that Newcastle United had won at Blackburn Rovers but for those who have followed the Magpies a little closer this season, the win at Ewood Park was typical of a bunch of players that keep bouncing back.

More than once this season they have been written off when they hit a rocky patch.

And going into the game against Rovers last night they needed a win to stay in touch with the European contenders.

They got it through a combination of luck, hard work, bravery and quality which they sprinkled during a tough night against the relegation threatened side.

The heroes were not all obvious.

Tim Krul's penalty save and all round top notch display put him at the top of the tree while Fabricio Coloccini also oozed class with some razor sharp interceptions.

But if Colo's return was significant, then what about Ryan Taylor?

Taylor made the all important first goal possible and put his body on the line for the black and white cause with another top notch display.

When it comes to talk of player of the season, he won't win it, but he'll be a candidate in my eyes.

Then there was James Perch.

This wasn't a night for the sparkling skills of Hatem Ben Arfa.

It need poise, calmness and the ability to find row Z when needed.

Perch provided all of that and was outstanding.

Then there were the super subs in Peter Lovenkrands and Gabriel Obertan.

Lovenrkands held the ball up when needed and then laid on Obertan's first goal.

Obertan summed up the term "fresh legs" with a blinding run and first class finish.

Afterwards, all he spoke about was the importance of the win for the team.

Perhaps that's why Newcastle are currently ahead of Thommo's beloved Liverpool as well as Arsenal and just three points behind Chelsea.

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Lee Ryder

Lee Ryder - Proudly born and bred on Tyneside, the Chronicle's chief sports writer has followed the fortunes of the club over the last three decades as a Toon fan and football writer.

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