Not enough water under the (Tyne) bridge

It's being suggested in some circles that the next three games will define David Moyes' future. That the manager's destiny will be sealed by our upcoming results against Newcastle United on Saturday, followed by the visit of Chelsea and then the trip to face Tottenham Hotspur.

The next three games would be without doubt a dauting proposition for any side, let alone one who has struggled alarmingly during the first half of the season.

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Newcastle, currently riding the crest of a wave under their new (dubious) owners are third in the league and already have a cup final booked. Chelsea, who have laughed in the face of FFP rules to spend a staggering £323m in January alone adding to their already lavishly assembled multi-million pound squad. And capped off by a visit to currently 5th-placed Spurs where the atmosphere is always massively intimidating.

If we were to take no points at all from those three games it would be disappointing, but would it also finally signal curtains for Moyes – and along with it set the seal on certain relegation for our club? Is that really the line that's been drawn in the sand for manager and club? I don't believe it would - or should be!

There are seven teams including West Ham at the bottom end of the Premier League – all separated by just six points. Even Crystal Palace who currently occupy 12th place in the League, with a healthy-looking 24 points to their name, will be looking nervously over their shoulder having clocked up just one win in their last six league and cup games.

Hardly an impressive run of form entering the business end of the campaign.

It's games against the teams closest to us that carry extra importance. Those teams whose minds will be just as focused as ours on the perils and pitfalls of possible relegation from the richest league in the world, that will eventually define our season.

Of the teams down in the danger zone we have yet to complete our fixtures against six of them. We have engaged only Wolverhampton Wanderers and Everton twice – so have yet to lock horns a second time with Southampton, Bournemouth, Leeds, Leicester, Nottingham Forest and Crystal Palace.

Those are the games and results that are more likely to decide our fate. The double-whammies – the so-called six pointers where victory can propel you forward and defeat put a huge dent in the survival hopes of your rivals.

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Of course it suits some of our fanbase and fan sites – those who nailed their ‘Moyes Out' flag to the mast a long time ago – to hype-up the next three games. Every game is important, of course it is, and no-one is happy with any defeat. Even a point at St James' on Saturday would be looked upon as a major shock. But it would be more than gratefully received I'm sure by manager, players and fans alike.

Would it mean our troubles would be over? Of course not! Just as defeat wouldn't be terminal either. There's a lot more water to flow yet - and not just under the Tyne Bridge - but in the league as a whole before our shredded and over-stretched nerves can take a much needed break.

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