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Wigan Athletic 0 Newcastle United 1

Newcastle United’s games against Spurs and Manchester City over the festive period were looked at as something of a bonus if we got anything from them. However, the games against Wigan, and tomorrow’s game against West Ham are definitely games we should be looking to win. Staying in the Premier League is vital for this club. Beating the likes of Arsenal is a bonus, but if we can’t beat the teams around or below us, then serious questions need to be asked.

Fortunately, thanks in part to the magnificent vocal support by the NUFC fans at the DW Stadium, Newcastle were able to record a vital win over a feisty Wigan side. Newcastle had chances to put the game beyond Wigan, but the rustiness of Peter Lovenkrands and Shola Ameobi was plain to see. Ameobi should have put Newcastle a goal up in the first three minutes after a fine cross from Danny Simpson, but managed to head wide – in what was arguably the best chance of the match.

Amoebi did manage to grab the vital goal though as a close range finish after a scrappy interchange in the box, and fine work from Joey Barton. Both Coloccini and Steven Taylor saw efforts denied by the crossbar as the Toon asserted themselves in the second-half. Without star man Charles N’Zogbia Wigan look a side destined for the drop – they very rarely tested Newcastle’s goal and ‘Keeper Steve Harper had little to do. There was even a sighting for Leon Best as he was given a chance late on in the game and almost could have cemented the win.

Victory for the Toon managed to take us into 10th spot and pull further away from the relegation mire. We have a chance to complete our first double as West Ham bring their band of merry cockneys to St. James’s Park tomorrow. Another crucial game against an inform Hammers side with three points being vital for NUFC’s future.

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