A visit to Emirates Stadium on Saturday will hold no fear for the rejuvenated travelling troops of Newcastle United.
The Magpies have started to spread their wings and soar back up the Premier League standings, with patience and persistence being rewarded after a period of inconsistency.
It took until October 18 for Alan Pardew’s side to claim their first three-point haul of the season, but they have not looked back since edging out Leicester City on home soil.
In fact, Newcastle have come unstuck in just one of their last 10 outings in all competitions, with seven successes during that run including the notable scalps of Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea.
What can this reversal in fortune be put down to?
According to defender Paul Dummett the explanation is simple, with there no elaborate secret behind a spark which has got the Toon Army back on the march.
Speaking at an EA Sports FIFA 15 event, he told HITC Sport: “Maybe a little bit of luck. I think we’ve only played badly in one game, which was Southampton when we got really battered, but other than that I think the team has played well. The goals didn’t come at the start of the season, but they are starting to come now and I think the team has picked up confidence quickly from winning.
“I think if you look at some of the performances, the first game of the season against City we played really well and were unlucky to get beat by two. We were a little bit unlucky at Villa as well, but the goals didn’t come. I think with the goals has come confidence. The goals have helped to bring confidence game by game and I think now the team has that belief.
“We were always well prepared and we knew deep down that we were good enough. When that first win did come, that was what brought the change. It gave us the confidence to build on.”
Pressed on whether there was a specific game where it felt like everything clicked, Dummett added: “I think Swansea, when we came back from being behind twice to get a draw. We were getting beat by one then got it back to 1-1, and then 2-1 and back to 2-2. I think ever since that game, there has been a change.
“We need to take it game by game and take it as it comes. We’re a good bunch of players so as long as we take it game by game, we’re definitely a top-half side. We need to aim for that first and foremost and once we get that, then we can aim as high as we can.
“We have got the biggest game of our season now at Arsenal, which we are going to focus on. After that there is the Tottenham game which is a very important match for us, with a spot in the semi-finals at stake, and we follow that with the derby against Sunderland which needless to say is absolutely massive, especially as they beat us twice last season. That said, we just have to take it game by game and see what we can do.”
Dummett is right to play the ‘proceed with caution’ card as December is shaping up to be another crucial, and testing, month for Newcastle.
A trip to Arsenal is followed by a Capital One Cup quarter-final with Tottenham Hotspur and then a home date with local foes Sunderland, with all the drama and passion that a Tyne-Wear derby brings with it.
There is no time to get caught up in emotion, though, as the calendar year is rounded off by meetings with Manchester United and Everton, with the Magpies hoping to surge rather than stumble into 2015.
Paul Dummett stars in EA SPORTS FIFA 15, out NOW on Xbox One, PS4 and all other platforms. Pick upthis year’s must have Christmas gift at www.easports.com/uk/fifa/buy #