COMMENT by Amir Mir
Football Insider analyses the three talking points as Newcastle beat Nottingham Forest 3-1 at St James’ Park on Friday night.
Sunderland will be laughing at Jack Colback’s performances – The 27-year-old has had big shoes to fill following the suspension of the Jonjo Shelvey. But one thing the senior player has shown is that he is not good enough for the Magpies Premier League push. Colback was unable to deliver the goods in the top-tier and once again he is struggling to do the same in the second-tier. Rafa Benitez would be better off selling the midfielder in January as he fails to provide any quality to the team. Sunderland will be laughing at Colback’s performances this season after he moved from the Stadium of Light to St James’ Park in 2014.
Home form still needs to improve – If Newcastle have any ambitions of finishing in the top two and making a return to the Premier League then they must improve their home form. The last time they dropped down a division, they won the league in emphatic style and remaining unbeaten at home throughout the campaign was a big factor behind that. Former Liverpool boss Benitez must install a fear factor at St James’ Park, else it could end up costing them a place in the top two. Ten goals conceded at home so far this season should be a worrying sign for the manager.
Dwight Gayle will hit 30 goal mark – The former Premier League player scored his 18th and 19th goal of the season during the win against Forest, maintaining his lead as the top scorer in the Championship. If he continues to produce then he will no doubt hit the 30 goal mark in the second tier. He was purchased for £10 million in the summer, but the striker is no doubt proving to be the best but of the summer window. Gayle may have struggled to find consistency in the Premier League, but his movement in the Championship is proving to be too good for opposition defences.
In other Newcastle news, this goal machine is on the Magpies radar with a reported £15 million which could seal the deal.