Steven Taylor and Steve Harper have been getting the word across to our new foreign players just how important the Sunderland game is to Newcastle supporters.
Weâ€™re sure the two Steves, both locals to the area, have been getting their communications over to the likes of Beye and Enrique, about the passions involved in the local derby game.
Steve also mentions how it’s been in his 14 seasons at the club. It’s great or terrible at Newcastle, feast or famine, there’s just no in between for Newcastle supporters.
Steve Harper – everything is either rosy or it’s crisis time at Newcastle
Steve talked about the derby game earlier today:
â€œI am from the area and it is up to me and Steven to get around the lads and let them know just how big a game this is and what it means for the region,â€
â€œWe will get the message across. The staff will identify strengths and weaknesses before the game and weâ€™ll explain just how important it is to the fans.â€
â€œIf you are not expecting it, you can be taken by surprise. Sunderland will come out of the blocks with 48,000 fans shouting for them and having a go.”
“We have to stand up and be counted. It is a big, big game. The foreign lads will have played in big games themselves, but me and Tayls will be saying that this is the biggest one of the lot.â€
With 14 yearsâ€™ service at St Jamesâ€™ Park Steve Harper, 32, but still fairly young for a goalkeeper, has witnessed at close quarters the excesses of expectation at Newcastle. Itâ€™s feast or famine when you support Newcastle United â€“ itâ€™s either great or terrible, very little in between. Since the terrible displays against Reading and Portsmouth, there has been more of it (famine) in the past couple of weeks.
â€œIâ€™ve been at Newcastle a long time and know how it works,â€ â€œA few days ago we were enjoying statistically the best start in 11 years and everyone was thinking it was top-six form.”
“Then two very, very disappointing performances later and it is crisis time. Thatâ€™s just Newcastle United.â€ â€œWe have to put the last two games to bed. We have to put on a performance for us, the manager, the fans.”
“Itâ€™s a rollercoaster of ups and downs. This is just the way it is here. It is either everything is rosy or it is crisis time. There is never any middle ground. We are either qualifying for Europe or the manager is under pressure.â€
â€œThat is the way it has always been. Come Saturday, if we have won, everything will be rosy again. The manager is under pressure week in, week out and that comes with the territory. If someone is prepared to be a manager, it is a high-pressure job.â€
One of Allardyceâ€™s most difficult decisions was to drop Harper in favor of Shay Given two months ago when Given recovered from injury. With the Ireland goalkeeper again succumbing to groin trouble, Harper will play in only his second derby appearance on Saturday, but he hardly welcomed his enforced exile.
â€œI thought my first six games of the season went pretty well,â€ he said, â€œso when the manager put Shay back in, I went to see him.â€
â€œWe discussed it man to man and I got my feelings across. What was said will remain private â€“ we had a good conversation â€“ but Iâ€™ve worked hard for the next opportunity.â€
â€œNow I have one. Shay is out for two or three weeks and I will give it my all. The rest is out of my hands.â€
We hope Steve has a good game for us on Saturday. Certainly he’s been a tremendously reliable goalkeeper for us this season. A win on Saturday and everything will be great again in the Newcastle garden, very rosy again.
A defeat will be …… well it’s just too hard to even think about.