It’s not very often Newcastle United and trophy get mentioned in the same sentence, unless we are talking about the lack of them over recent years.
However, this season United are that big fish in the ocean that everyone wants a piece of.
To grab a result against the former Premier League “big boys” will be like catching that trophy fish to most clubs in the second tier of English football.
How they would love to take all three points, and fix the result to a wooden plaque and hang it proudly above the fireplace.
We are under no illusions that this league is a difficult one to climb. To be honest, we’ve all had it rammed down our throats by pundits and fellow Championship club fans since the day relegation was confirmed.
Friday night’s defeat at Fulham showed us just how quickly this new team will need to click and take the first crucial step in securing the title that brings so much with it once again.
It’s exactly the same as last time we found ourselves in this situation – we are the team to beat, we are the team that will produce the headlines, fill the most column inches and divert traffic to websites across the country...even more so on the back of a defeat.
It’s no surprise though. We have a globally recognised manager at the helm, a manager that has won nine major trophies throughout his career.
It’s obvious that many want us to fail, standing eagerly waiting for the fans to “turn” on their manager and club which is why every single player needs to up their game to a new level, especially away from home.
We need to be faster, harder, more skilful and certainly more ruthless than every other team that we come up against in this league. The last thing we need to do is sit back and think “we’re Newcastle United, we’ll walk this”.
It’s going to be a long season fighting against the current as Friday confirmed as two, possibly three game-changing decisions went passing by, but we can’t dwell on poor decisions, we have to push it to one side and look forward.
This weekend, with more than 50,000 tickets sold, we fill St James’s Park once again. As a sea of black and white we need to urge the team forward at every opportunity, we need to back Benitez but most importantly we build the fortress from the rubble of last season – just like we did under Chris Hughton.