In the wake of arguably one of the greatest games at the Amex, the key after the 5-0 dissection of promotion rivals Norwich City is not to get carried away.
Easier said than done, but the season’s only a third of the way through and there’s still 31 games to go. Talk of automatic promotion, while natural behaviour for the archetypal passionate football fan is still a tad premature.
I’ve no doubt the ultimately disappointing experience of last season has served the Albion well and the return of Glenn Murray has given Chris Hughton’s men an added edge.
As with our own Premier League ambitions, talk of Newcastle romping away with the Championship is still a little bit early. A case in point was Saturday when three points at Preston could so easily have been one.
That’s the Championship in a nutshell and one of the reasons why it’s probably one of the most exciting, competitive and watched leagues in the world.
Don’t rule out a serious dip for the Magpies, while failure to win at Boro cost the Albion automatic promotion last season, the three straight home defeats in December and January were equally as significant.
Don’t get me wrong, Newcastle are an impressive outfit but there’s plenty of quality in the division. The Geordies and a perceived over-confidence could yet be their own biggest challenge.
Which is why, almost in their slip stream, the Albion must keep their feet on the ground, starting with another ‘six-pointer’ at Bristol City.
At this stage of the season, having already built up a healthy goal difference, a top two place at the point of the third international break is certainly everything we could have hoped for.
Just when you thought FIFA couldn’t be anymore inept, they come up with the directive that both England and Scotland can’t wear Poppy emblems on their shirts for the game next Friday.
Is there no internet connection at the home of world football?
Or any kind of reference library?
A simple Google of the Royal British Legion Poppy appeal tells them everything they need to know. I sincerely hope both the English and Scottish football associations stand up for what’s right; remembering all the sacrifices by the brave servicemen and women.
And whatever ‘punishment’ comes as a result, ultimately they will have done the right thing.
And, finally, good luck to Worthing Football Club’s under-18s when they take on Millwall at the New Den in the first round of the FA Youth Cup on Monday night.
As with the cup run last year, these are nights and life experiences that the young footballers will never forget.
Former Worthing youth player Pat Webber, now up at Ipswich Town, is testament that this competition is also the ultimate shop window. It was at Biggleswade Town in the second round last year that the East Anglian club first came to watch Pat and, as they say, the rest is history.
And on Monday, whatever the result, I know everyone connected with the squad will enjoy the night and remember it for the rest of their footballing careers.
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