Matt Targett says that Newcastle United have no reason not to be optimistic about finishing the Premier League season strongly. Having recovered from three defeats in a row in the top-flight, Newcastle have started another warm steak winning back to back home matches against top 10 opponents Wolverhampton Wanderers and Leicester City.
Victory against Crystal Palace tonight would put them on the cusp of the top half. A win against the Eagles would see Newcastle leapfrog Palace, Southampton and Brighton into 11th place and outside the top 10 on goal difference. Three points this evening would then put them in a good position to have a tilt at the top 10 – starting away at Norwich on Saturday.
Targett told Chronicle Live: “No. But you look at the next two games Crystal Palace and Norwich and you want to keep this going. You want six points from the next two. Then we have the big boys coming up against Liverpool and Man City.”
Getting above 40 points before the encounters with Pep Guardiola’s Man City and Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool would avoid any nervy moments at the tail end of the campaign. But Targett said he and his team-mates aren’t daunted by going in against the two Premier League title challengers.
Targett said: “That will be a real test for us. It will help us see how far we have come as a team. It’s a nice challenge but we’re always looking up. That is the main message.”
Newcastle and Targett go into this evening’s clash beneath the St James’ Park lights on a real high after that last gasp win over Leicester. After 96 pulsating minutes, it remains to be seen whether Howe will stick with a winning formula or make some tweaks.
But Targett said: “We defended really well as a team and were prepared to put in some last ditch challenges. That’s what makes the difference at this stage of the season. We were brilliant and the mentality is right.”
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