ONSIDE: Too early to say that Newcastle United have turned the corner

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AND so the marathon wait is over at last.

Newcastle United have scored from a corner for the first time in more than two years.

In truth the breakthrough has been coming for a while now with Yohan Cabaye free-kicks setting up goals in both previous home league games.

It is just a shame that Alan Pardew’s side momentarily forgot how to defend from corners come Norwich City’s second-half fightback.

Had Loic Remy, who ended Newcastle’s famine after only two minutes, stayed on the near post then he would have made a routine clearance from the impressive Leroy Fer’s 80th-minute header and guaranteed the team’s third successive clean sheet.

As it was the St James’s Park faithful were treated to an unnecessarily nervous finale before a narrow and ultimately deserved 2-1 victory was confirmed.

The Magpies are now halfway towards the so-called 40-point safety target with less than a third of their Premier League matches played.

But it would not take much to follow the side’s three-game winning run with a similar run of pointless outings.

The victories against Chelsea, Tottenham and Norwich have seen Newcastle play well for 45 minutes in each.

Who is to say they will not perform likewise against West Brom, Swansea and Manchester United over the next fortnight and end up bemoaning consecutive defeats?

Returning captain Fabricio Coloccini certainly looked rusty on his first start for six weeks on Saturday.

Hopefully the runaround will ensure he is back to his best come Saturday’s teatime home date with West Brom as he has struggled with the pacy if inconsistent Shane Long in the past.

While it might not sound like an obvious choice for the Sky cameras, the fixture has been littered with goals in recent years and this weekend should prove no exception.

For all West Brom look slick going forward, their back four, as shown by Aston Villa’s fightback in Monday’s 2-2 draw, is not the most mobile.

Ye Newcastle’s leaky defence have probably used up their quota of clean sheets for the calendar year and may need to score three times at the other end for the first time this season if they are going to claim another three points.

– GAVIN LEDWITH

@GLedwithHMail