Daily Mail

Goal drought is messing with Newcastle’s heads


NEWCASTLE are not playing poorly. I’ve left games in recent years when they have lost and they have shown nothing. Now, they are playing well. Eddie Howe has it sorted between both boxes. I see a team who pass the ball well, are athletic, compete and create chances.

The problem? They just cannot score. It really does affect confidence, and not just for the forwards. Newcastle look like a side aware of the fact they have only scored three times in the league since Boxing Day. Psychologi­cally, it’s massive. It gets inside your head. Ability remains the same, but what’s between the ears makes the difference at times like this.

I do believe it will change and that is because I don’t see anything wrong with the majority of their performanc­es. They are a genuine group who clearly have togetherne­ss and an excellent manager. Eddie will not change his beliefs or panic. They just need that one game, one goal to be the catalyst.

To that end, Wolves at home on Sunday is huge. Maybe it is time to play Callum Wilson and Alexander Isak together. Perspectiv­e is still needed. A year ago, we were worried about being relegated. A top-six finish and a cup final would represent unbelievab­le progress in such a short space of time.

But Newcastle also have to handle the pressure that comes with being in this position. When you are winning and everything is coming naturally, you don’t look at other results. It’s just, ‘When is our next game?’

In 1996, when we were going for the title, we lost to Manchester United in March and all of a sudden started following their results. Newcastle, now, will have an eye on what Tottenham, Liverpool and Fulham are doing. It all adds to the pressure until you start winning again, and then everything feels easy.

Beat Wolves this weekend and their confidence will return. I still believe they can finish in the top four.

 ?? ?? Former Newcastle midfielder
Former Newcastle midfielder

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