Joey Barton has told The Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast on talkSPORT (broadcast on 18th September 2017; 9:21 am) that Newcastle have proved him wrong after he began to fear for them following their defeat to Huddersfield, and suggested that he could see them continuing their recent good form during their next few games.
The Magpies began their season with two defeats in a row; and with Rafa Benitez expressing his disappointment in early August at how the transfer window had panned out - as reported by the Daily Mail - it appeared that Newcastle's honeymoon period following promotion was over before it had begun.
However, Newcastle have turned their fortunes right around, winning their last three league games, including against Stoke City at the weekend, to move themselves into the top four.
And Barton has suggested that the Magpies could be about to do considerably better than he had thought they may do when they lost to Huddersfield on the second weekend of the campaign.
"I feared for them after the Huddersfield game. There were the issues going on around Benitez, the transfer saga or non-transfer saga, and I just feared after they got beat then and the way they performed that it was going to be a difficult season for them," he told The Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast on talkSPORT.
"But credit to Rafa and the Newcastle players, a couple of great results, West Ham at home and at the weekend against Stoke, they're games that I think Newcastle's seasons will be judged off, it won't be judged off the likes of games against [Manchester] City and United, it will be against the teams around them.
"Three big games coming up, they're going to play against Brighton then they've got Liverpool at home and then Southampton away so a couple of winnable games there."
Barton may be optimistic about their next three games, but perhaps it could be fair to suggest that it could be possible that they may take a giant leap towards Premier League survival by the middle of November as it is only then when they face their next opponents who currently find themselves in the top six of the table.
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