The Magpies looked faultless a month ago but now they're looking increasingly vulnerable.
A manager of Rafael Benitez’s experience hardly needs reminding that achieving your ambitions doesn’t usually go hand in hand with substandard home form.
And while you’d expect Newcastle United’s 52,000 seater behemoth of an arena to spur them on to dramatic comebacks and rescued points, there’s been an atmosphere of unease at St James’ Park recently.
Comfortably outplayed in the absence of Jonjo Shelvey, Glenn Loovens’ second half header sealed a deserved 1-0 Sheffield Wednesday win on Tyneside on Boxing Day. For the record, The Owls are the fourth side to take three points from England’s sixth largest club stadium this season.
From Huddersfield’s 2-1 win in August to Wolves’ September cruise and Blackburn’s smash and grab win against a much-changed starting XI, no side in the top half of the Championship has lost as many times in front of their home supporters as Newcastle United this season.
It’s an alarming statistic given that they have been heralded throughout the campaign, described in some quarters as the most fearsome side ever assembled at this level.
After plummeting to the vast depths of second place in the most recent matchday, Benitez will know that his side cannot afford to be turned over once again on their own patch.
After all, only two sides to earn promotion from the Championship in the last decade lost four games at home by New Years Day.
Furthermore, no team in the last ten years have reached the Premier League after losing five home games by January. Therefore, Friday’s clash with Nottingham Forest at St James’ looks set to take on extra significance.