Chris Mort, the Newcastle Chairman, has got right into the spirit of the game today with Sunderland. Chris, who is usually very diplomatic in his communications, has said 8-0 would be good if Newcastle can do that.
While thatâ€™s unlikely Chris has certainly said some common sense things in his short time at Newcastle and continues today, saying that the new management at Newcastle and Sunderland are all for the great competition between the teams, but they also want to be friendly in their working relations.
Chris Mort – looking forward to big game today
With Niall Quinn in position at Sunderland thatâ€™s exactly what Niall has said in the past and we think itâ€™s very good for the area.
Chris talked to the Newcastle Journal this morning:
â€œI know what it means and itâ€™s definitely a game Iâ€™m looking forward to more than any other,â€
â€œIâ€™m looking forward to it very much. Iâ€™m going there absolutely with the view that 8-0 would be great, smash them up, blast them, win it all hands down and Iâ€™ll be passionately behind the team to do that.”
“I like the mentality that we need to do better than them, no matter what.â€
While Chris would no doubt love to be able to celebrate a Newcastle victory this afternoon â€“ wouldnâ€™t we all, there is a long-term view taken by the new chairman when it comes to relationships with Sunderland.
â€œIâ€™ve tried to make sure that we donâ€™t have a silly relationship with the owners and chairman of Sunderland.â€ Niall Quinn and I have met a number of times and Iâ€™ve also met with a few other of the Sunderland board members. Weâ€™re determined to get on well together and weâ€™re going to work hard to make sure we do that.â€
â€œThey will be massively, passionately behind their team on Saturday and we will be massively, passionately behind ours. Clearly, we will be head-to-head this weekend. But, personally, I like that fact that theyâ€™re in the Premier League and I like the fact that Middlesbrough are in the Premier League as well.â€
â€œI hope theyâ€™re both in the Premier League for many years to come because it means that games like Saturdayâ€™s will always be really special. I hope that weâ€™re considerably higher than Sunderland in the Premier League, but I get on well with Niall and the other guys there.â€
â€œWe donâ€™t feel we need to fall out because heâ€™s a red and Iâ€™m not, which, from what I can gather from the media, was not always the case in the past.â€
Chris Mort feels Newcastle need a successful Sunderland to challenge them over a prolonged period. With Roy Keane and Niall Quinn at the helm of the Sunderland ship, Chris might just get that and then the North East derby can take on national significance, if both teams are challenging at the top of the Premiership, which of course is what teams in London are doing now.
â€œSunderland have new owners, a new chairman, a new manager, itâ€™s not dissimilar to what weâ€™ve been doing. Theyâ€™ve taken them from the division below to the Premier League and are hoping to take the club forward. Itâ€™s a time of change.”
“Itâ€™s my first derby and itâ€™s Niallâ€™s first derby (as chairman), and hopefully this is the start of something big for North-East football. Itâ€™s the start of a new chapter and hopefully weâ€™re going to start to see the North-East challenging London and the North-West.â€
â€œTwo or three years down the line, it would be nice if people outside of the North-East were seeing this as a derby at the top end of the Premier League.â€
â€œAlthough, you talk to any of the players who have been involved in this game and theyâ€™ll already tell you that itâ€™s a bigger derby than any other. It has an edge to it that some of the derbies donâ€™t. Liverpool versus Everton is a massive game, but itâ€™s nothing like this.â€
â€œThis is different because households donâ€™t tend to be split. Youâ€™re either Newcastle or youâ€™re Sunderland. It feels more like the Manchester United versus Liverpool game because you definitely get a sense of there being a real edge to it.â€
Chris Mort and Mike Ashley are starting to see first hand the passion that is football in the North East and it looks to us they are caught right in it. Mike Ashley today is determined to wear his Newcastle shirt at the game, and he doesn’t want to upset the Sunderland board, so he seems quite willing to be with the other Newcastle fans in the away section of the crowd. We hope he takes his notebook along to take down all the advice he’ll get on which players we should be signing in January.
Being with the fans today is a massive communication from Ashley, about just how passionate, and down to earth he is, about Newcastle these days. We all know actions speak louder than words, and since Mike bought Newcastle in the summer, he has been like a surprising breath of fresh air to the fans.
We hope that fresh air will be accompanied by 3 points today – because we need them.
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