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View From The Town End: Newcastle

Pre-season title favourites Newcastle have struggled so far on their Championship return but what's behind their problems? We get the Toon view on tonight's game.

Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

To get  the Newcastle view on tonight's game with Reading we spoke to Mark from Newcastle's The Mag@NUFCTheMag

You were in confident mood when we spoke before the season but two Championship defeats later how's the mood?

No rational person thought it would be easier and these two games have proved what the Championship is. There isn't panic, more a case of debate about what has gone wrong and which players should and shouldn't be in the team. Certainly anybody who did think Newcastle just had to turn up and collect three points now realises maybe that isn't the case.

What's gone wrong so far?

Three poor bits of defending have gifted three goals. Whilst at the other end there hasn't been enough penetration or inspiration, dominating possession is all a bit irrelevant if you do nothing with it. Changing half your team in one go is never ideal and just because tens of millions have been spent on that, doesn't mean Newcastle are different to any other team in the second tier.

What does Rafa have to do to fix it?

Injury problems for Matt Ritchie and suspension for Mitrovic haven't helped but he is still striving for his best 11 and realistically I think it will be September before that happens. With more players expected to arrive, it is all very much a work in progress and shows just how much was wrong at Newcastle United.

On to Wednesday night's game and any fond memories of playing Reading?

Not a great game but in 2006 when 2-1 down at home we came back to win 3-2 with a very good Emre goal. The Shola hat-trick eight years ago was another enteratining/amusing day. Maybe the most memorable was the friendly when Ruud Gullit turned out for Newcastle at your place, supporters optimistic that he could deliver after the misery of life under Dalglish.

Any not so fond ones?

There have been defeats at Reading but when Newcastle were trying to get themselves relegated in 2012/13 they managed to lose to two late Le Fondre goals after Cabaye had scored the opener.

What do you make of Reading in 2016?

Can't say I know too much but interesting to see Jaap Stam in charge.

Finally give us a score prediction.

I'll go 2-0 to Newcastle.