Newcastle will be hoping that their weekend victory over Tottenham serves as a metaphor for the 2014/15 campaign.
The Magpies put a woeful first half, after which Vurnon Anita was once again substituted, behind them to claim a second successive victory at White Hart Lane.
Suddenly the 9/2 about Alan Pardew’s side delivering on bullfrog bankroller Mike Ashley’s stated aim of a top-ten Premier League finish is looking realistic once more.
Going seven games winless at the beginning of the campaign has done surprisingly little to cut them adrift from the upper echelon for all they remain in 15th.
In fact, it should be noted that, for all the consternation over their poor form this term, they have lost just three of their 11 games across all competitions.
The Magpies are barred from Hull’s tenth-place berth by a solitary point, while the eighth spot currently occupied by Manchester United is potentially but a win away.
With the likes of West Brom, QPR and Burnley on the menu within their next five games there should be plenty more points in the offing too.
Victory at White Hart Lane was a positive omen for a further brace of reasons.
Firstly it was achieved without two key first-team players in Cheick Tiote and Papiss Cisse, with further improvement to be expected when they return to the fold.
One is the side’s top-scorer despite having played just 240 minutes of league football, while the other leads the squad for average passes and tackles per game by some distance.
Meanwhile the 2-1 success represented their first away win in the top flight for some ten games, seven of which were lost.
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