Newcastle have gone second in the Premier League table when adjusted for 2022 matches following their win against Brighton on Saturday.
They have picked up 17 points out of a possible 21, having played seven matches in 2022 so far. Only Liverpool can better that, with 19 points in their last seven games.
The Brighton win – Newcastle’s first since they secured promotion alongside the Seagulls in 2017 – took the Magpies seven points clear of the bottom three.
So it’s fair to say Newcastle have delivered under Eddie Howe: they haven’t lost a league game since 19 December, against title challengers Manchester City.
It is a real testament to Howe’s transformation of the side that it has taken title-contending form to climb their way to safe ground, as no team in Newcastle’s position when Howe tasted victory for the first time stayed up.
No team, having gone winless in their first 14 matches, has survived before and Newcastle will be hoping there is a large enough cushion between them and the bottom three now.
A harder run of form anticipates the Magpies after next week’s tie with Southampton. The Saints have come off the back of a crumbling 4-0 trouncing by Aston Villa but complacency is the greatest killer in a side.
A dramatic end to the season awaits the Magpies if their eight-unbeaten streak ends against Southampton or upcoming opponents Chelsea and Everton before the international break.
But the time now is for celebration and Newcastle fans surely must be relieved for winning once more.