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Now isn't the time for a post-season inquest for Newcastle United

By Lee Ryder on May 1, 13 11:31 AM


You can do two things in football when things aren't going well.

You can either sulk and look for excuses.

Or you can work around the clock to find a solution to put wrongs right.

For Newcastle United the hard work continued this week.

Sources close to the dressing room have revealed that the Magpies hit rock bottom against Liverpool in what has been a torrid season.

Yes, there have been injuries.

Yes, the squad wasn't strong enough to cope during a long hard winter.

And yes, the worst away record in Premier League history with the poorest defensive record to go along side it is totally unacceptable for Newcastle fans.

But sitting around sulking and dwelling won't solve any of that the United players.

Newcastle's position in the Premier League table isn't just because they have played badly of late either.

It's the results throughout the season that mean they are in the relegation dogfight with three games to go.

Nobody can disguise that.

What's needed now is to get the results needed and pull clear of danger so that we can put this rotten Premier League campaign to bed.

As Bobby Robson once said: "The only way to hit back is through performance."

Positive results at West Ham and QPR are therefore the key for Newcastle United right now.

Of course, the meres sniff of the prospect of relegation has sent some media outlets into overdrive.

Talk of player cliques and unrest is rife.

But sources close to the dressing room say that there is only obvious deep disappointment about recent results and the league position.

However, more encouragingly there is a determination to put things right and get the job done before a summer of reflection and reorganisation.

It has to be said that was severely lacking the last time United went down.

Players like Michael Owen, Mark Viduka, Geremi, Habib Beye, Damien Duff and Seb Bassong were all unsettled and weren't committed to the cause - hence why they jumped ship shortly afterwards.

That isn't the vibe I get at the moment.

Obviously there was a devastated dressing room after the 6-0 hiding against Liverpool.

The performance wasn't in any way acceptable.

Now though some of the character is thought to be showing in a dressing room that - let's be fair - is still getting to know each other.

Home truths have been spoken by characters that previously didn't want to say too much too soon after just arriving at the club.

The likes of Moussa Sissoko, Yoan Gouffran, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Massadio Haidara and Mathieu Debuchy only arrived a few months ago.

And Vurnon Anita is also in his first season.

That's not making excuses for anybody.

But history tells us it took time for Jose Enrique and Fabricio Coloccini to settle in at Newcastle.

If Newcastle can get the maximum out from a clutch of players that have already shown potential, then who knows what can be achieved.

For now it is about sealing survival and that can't be achieved by starting the post-season inquest three games too early.

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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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