After nine games of the season United trailed last seasons points tally by a massive 12 points. And whilst everyone knew Newcastle had one of their toughest starts to any Premier League campaign, on paper at least, a missed penalty away to Cardiff and even an early thumping from Forest in the League Cup did little to calm the nerves.
Roll forward to today and after a another fantastic win, this time against a rejuvenated Southampton side hot on the heels of an equally impressive away win at Leicester, United are SAFE.
41 points with three games to go is the same total as the Magpies managed at the same point last season.
And with Liverpool winning at Cardiff this afternoon, another season in the Premier League is now mathematically certain.
All attention now turns to the future of managed Rafa Benitez who, in a frank interview with TalkSport after the Southampton game, seemed to indicate he’d identified a couple of players he wanted in early and suggested the stumbling block was the United Board’s unwillingness to be flexible on wage structure.
With his contact finishing on 30th June, the next few weeks are going to be critical and will tell all Newcastle fans whether next season will be one that will successfully build on this, or whether it will be all change and another scrap for safety.
For now, it’s well done to Rafa and all the boys. See you next season!