The Warm Down: Newcastle United fail to win in Premier League for 14th straight game after Norwich City draw
 (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images)

There may not have been a more perfect opportunity for Newcastle United to pick up their first three points of the season than last night.

Facing 19th place Norwich City with a squad close to full strength, a new manager finally making his debut in the St James' Park dugout and 50,000+ Geordies creating an atmosphere reminiscent of the days of Kevin Keegan.

But even that couldn't bring home the win.

After Ciaran Clark saw red just nine minutes into the game, Eddie Howe's men had made an already difficult task – against a somewhat in-form Canaries side – into a real uphill battle.

Despite being a man down, The Toon dug in and took the lead thanks to Callum Wilson's penalty on 61 minutes.

But Norwich striker Teemu Pukki ensured Dean Smith continued his unbeaten start to life in East Anglia when he unleashed a venomous volley into the top-left corner, meaning the spoils were shared on Tyneside.

The result meant Newcastle's wait for a win in the Premier League stretches to a whopping six months and 10 days and leaves them two wins away from safety.

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Clark's moment of madness costs Toon of three precious points

Let your goalkeeper do his job – it's as simple as that.

When it was 11 versus 11, it was clear that The Magpies were the dominant side and the ones most likely to win the game... until Clark was sent for an early bath after just nine minutes.

Would Pukki have scored? Maybe.

Is it catastrophic if he does? Not when you have most of the game still to play.

All of the preparation for this game essentially was thrown out of the window from thereon, and it meant that Ryan Fraser – who would've had a very important role to play – was sacrificed for defensive reinforcements.

Howe switched for a 4-3-2 formation and despite them being a man down they played relatively well and got their noses in front midway through the second half.

But the disadvantages of having 10-men, mixed with a defence that has been shoddy all season, meant that cracks started to show – and Pukki took full advantage with his inch-perfect volley.

Toon fans will blame that red card for their shortcomings, in a game that was a must-win.

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Fernandez and Lewis impress on their return

One positive – if you can take any from last night – was the solid shifts put in by Federico Fernandez and Jamal Lewis, who both returned to the side after long spells on the sidelines.

Fans were crying out for Fernandez's return in particular, and you can see why now.

The Argentine was a commanding presence at the back, winning the majority of his aerial duels.

Despite him not even being in the squad for the last six games, he did not look out of place in the heart of the defence.

Lewis was another player coming in from the cold, and although he was facing his former club he showed no signs of nerves, putting in a solid display.

The Northern Ireland International had been questioned by the fanbase on whether he is good enough to play top-flight football, but he proved the doubters wrong with his showing last night.

Joelinton shines again

Who would've thought the club record £40 million signing brought in to be the next Alan Shearer would end up more like Yaya Toure?

The one thing you get with Joelinton is effort, and he had plenty of that in abundance last night.

The Brazilian may have been the big reason why Newcastle didn't lose, with his efforts defensively and offensively for the whole game almost counteracting the man disadvantage we have.

If you go back to last year, the 25-year-old was far from a fan favourite.

Last night when the teams were read out before kick-off, Joelinton's name was easily greeted with the loudest cheer behind star players Allan Saint-Maximin and Wilson.

Confidence breeds performances, and we are certainly seeing that with Joelinton.

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A city united despite relegation worries mounting

Some would say that only the Tottenham game – the first game of the new era on Tyneside – eclipsed the atmosphere in St James' Park last night.

When you look at Newcastle's current form, the support they get week in, week out is truly astonishing.

Of course, the response you'll get from some people is that 'they're a one club city'.

But seriously, which team that are rock bottom of the league and haven't won a game for half a year would sell out a 52,000 seater stadium for a midweek game in November against Norwich? The answer: not many.

Despite the unwavering support, the problems on the pitch are massive.

Newcastle are still six points away from safety – with most sides above them having a game in-hand – and face a torrid Christmas run-in to say the least.

The Brentford game last week was a must-win, yesterday was a must-win – does that make the match against Burnley on Saturday a must-must-win?

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