The current Premier League season has been a rollercoaster ride for Newcastle United. An opening day hammering at the hands of Manchester City had fans fearing the worst and the Tyne-Wear defeat against Sunderland threatened to ramp up the pressure on manager Alan Pardew.
But in the last two weeks, the Magpies have recorded huge wins over Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur, something which no one would have predicted given their performance against Sunderland the week before heading into the double-header.
With momentum finally on their side after a turbulent start, Newcastle must now undergo an attitude change if they are to keep performing at the level they have done recently.
Against Spurs and Chelsea, Newcastle were almost expected to lose. In bad form and with confidence low after the Sunderland defeat, the visit of Chelsea was hardly a welcome one. However, Newcastle played like they had nothing to lose and passed the title-challenging Blues off the pitch in the second half, after showing fine defensive form in the first.
The same went for the trip to White Hart Lane. Newcastle roared out of the blocks and Loïc Rémy’s seventh goal of the season gave the Magpies a platform on which to build. A lot of credit has to be given to Tim Krul, who made 14 saves during the game, but almost every Newcastle player performed near their best.
After the international break, Newcastle host Norwich City and will be expected to win comfortably given their recent results. However, the thought of facing Chris Hughton’s side is unlikely to ignite the same will to win amongst the players that games against two of the league’s best teams surely did.
During the 90 minutes against the Canaries, we will learn a lot about Newcastle United. If they record their third league win out of three since losing the Derby, we know that they have the mental toughness to beat the so-called “smaller” teams. But if they fail to beat what will be a fired up Norwich side, we may be resigned to thinking that Newcastle have a typical attitude of raising their game against the big boys and failing to keep it up.