Jaap Stam delivers verdict on Newcastle promotion hopes after draw v Reading
By Dominic Toner
Reading manager Jaap Stam believes that Newcastle will secure promotion to the Premier League this season.
The Magpies earned an away point at Reading on Tuesday night in a cagey goalless draw, with both sides struggling to create too many chances in front of goal.
Rafael Benitez’s remain top of the Championship table and will be satisfied with a point against fifth-placed Reading.
They are three points ahead of Brighton in second and nine points ahead of third-placed Huddersfield in the league, who do have a game in hand.
Stam feels that Newcastle are now in a commanding position to secure promotion and will have enough to do so.
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“Newcastle are a lot of points ahead – they aren’t going to give it away,” Stam said, as quoted by Chronicle’s chief sports writer Lee Ryder on his personal Twitter account.
Stam: "Newcastle are a lot of points ahead – they aren't going to give it away." #nufc
— Lee Ryder (@lee_ryder) March 7, 2017
Newcastle have picked up seven points from three difficult away matches against Brighton, Huddersfield and Reading in the past week.
Benitez was tasked with securing the club an instant promotion back to the top-flight and they are expected to capitalise on their gap at the top of the league.
The Magpies host Fulham in their next game on Saturday, who are just outside of the play-off positions.
They now have just 10 games left in the season to secure an automatic spot and their defence could play a crucial role in achieving success.
Newcastle’s clean sheet against Reading ensured they have the best defensive record in the Championship and they have conceded just just 29 goals in 36 matches.
In other Newcastle news, the club’s fringe player claimed he came to make an impact.