There’s little doubt that since Sam Allardyce has been at Newcastle he has very quickly made the team very difficult to beat.
Sam has brought in some big and experienced defenders in Cacapa, Rozehnal, Faye and Beye and the whole team has looked much stronger in most areas of the field, but particularly in defense.
James Milner, who was probably Newcastle best player last season and has started this season in sizzling form, thinks Newcastle are getting the winning ethic from Big Sam and thinks the team is a lot tougher than it was last season.
James Milner – thinks Newcastle are a much tougher side now
James said this morning:
“We’ve got a better team ethic now â€“ that’s a big difference.â€
“Everyone’s willing to work for each other. Everyone’s on the same page and desperate to put their neck on the line for each other.â€
“As long as we get the three points, no-one cares. They’ll put their bodies on the line, and that’s a great thing to have.”
Sam Allardyce is the fourth manager Milner has worked with since joining Newcastle 3 years ago when Bobby Robson was the manager. James also spent one season on loan to Aston Villa where he worked under his previous Leeds United manager, David O’Leary. So it’s been turbulent times for James while he’s been at Newcastle but he seems very positive about where the team is headed this season.
“We’ve been a bit disappointed with a couple of games where we thought we could have won, but they’re games last season where we might not have got the point at all.â€
“We might have gone on to lose them, so we are moving in the right direction.â€ “If we can get this winning habit â€“ and if we can get on a roll â€“ we can keep pushing on.â€
“It’s important to keep this unbeaten run going as long as we can, particularly when we’re not winning games and not playing that well.â€
“That’s what the good teams do â€“ when they are not playing well, they win games or grind out a point.â€
“Too many times last year even from winning positions, we did not hold on, and hopefully the mentality is different now, the set-up is different and I’m sure we are moving in the right direction.”
There’s no better time to put James’ thoughts into action at Derby County tonight. Derby have just one point from their first 5 games and have conceded 15 goals in those games. Most of those goals have been been conceded away from home however, and in their two home games they’ve conceded just 4 goals. We would expect Sam to attack the Derby defense, which is obviously their weakness. With Michael Owen and others in excellent form most observers would fancy Newcastle’s chances tonight.
But as we all know, nothing can be taken for granted in this league, so Newcastle will still need to be at their best tonight. But a win will take us up to 4th place with 11 points from our first 5 league games. A great start to the season.