Newcastle Must Get All 3 Points Today

The game today against Birmingham City is probably more important than the game on Wednesday.

If we had lost the game on Wednesday and played reasonably well, not many fans would have been too disappointed. However, we now have to get down to the business of picking up points against teams who are below us in the league.


Sam Allardyce – wants all 3 points today, but it will not be easy

Such a game is today with Birmingham one place and 5 points below us in the league. We’d like to increase that to 8 points after today’s game, and a draw just will not be good enough.

Here’s what Sam Allardyce has been saying to the Newcastle Journal today:

“Emphasizing we need that level of performance (shown versus Arsenal) again is the hardest piece of work we have to do as a management and coaching team,” “The huge amount of effort put into the last two games means we have to make sure there’s no mental and physical fatigue, especially with Birmingham not having had a game in midweek.”

“We don’t want players going into the Birmingham match with a big lull coming, rather than the impetus from where we’ve left off.” “Birmingham City got off to a very good start under their new manager,” “They’ll come and show their commitment to him, and that will make life difficult.”

“It’ll be a different game entirely because I think they’ll sit back a little and see what we’ve got to offer. They’ll look to frustrate us, and see what they can get from our mistakes or on the break.”

“We’ve got to be as solid as we were at the back against Arsenal.” “That’s one of the things that’s been missing while results have slipped away from us, particularly in the Blackburn game last weekend.”

We did look rather strong on Wednesday at the back and a lot of that new solidity was with having Steven Taylor back in the heart of our defense. He’s looking a better player these days under the tutelage of Big Sam, and had an excellent game against the league leaders. He seemed to fit in well with David Rozehnal at the back. Sam continued:

“As long as we continue in this vein and keep going forward, we’ll be able to turn a good performance into a win. I’m sure they will all have felt as though they’ve done a good day’s work on Wednesday, as they did against Blackburn, but without the disappointment.”

Newcastle have in fact played well two games running, because we almost pinched an equalizer against Blackburn last Saturday before they caught us short at the back and nicked their third goal. But we missed chances that day, that could have easily brought us a win. We don’t want to make any such mistakes today, in this crucial encounter.

Sam continued:

“I thought everybody virtually played to their best against Blackburn, it was just we got heavily punished for not finishing them off when we had the opportunity,” “Against Arsenal, we got a performance that was good enough to win against the best team in the Premier League. We didn’t quite make it, though, so we’re a little disappointed.”

“It’s sometimes easier for a player to go out against a top team. You have to worry as a manager and make sure you get your players back there for the visit of Birmingham City.” “I’ve always said games like the Arsenal game are the bonus games. The more important games are the more winnable ones. The Birmingham match is unquestionably a more winnable game for us, so we have to make sure we win it.”

“We have to be professional enough to be pro-active and do the job from the start.”

Sam’s only real selection dilemma is whether to start Mark Viduka, who has been out injured and has still to get back to his best form. But we would expect Sam to start with an unchanged side, but maybe give Mark a decent run out in the second half today, depending how the game goes. Sam went on about Mark:

“He was left out a few times at Middlesbrough,” “Mark Viduka is a terrific player, but his niggly injury scenario has meant while we have tried to get him back as quickly as possible, he maybe hasn’t quite been at the top of his game.”

“His injury situation is the reason why I’ve been bringing him off the bench. Now we’ve started turning things around, he can come into play. He’s a great finisher and will get back into the side on a regular basis, there’s no doubt about that.”

So it’s very simple today. We need to win and it’s one of those days when the result is really more important than the way we play. It would be nice to win, play well and keep a clean sheet. But we’ll take the win, whichever way we can get it.

Comments welcome.

5 comments so far

  • adam

    Dec 8, 2007 at 10:21 AM

    Comment #1

    no excuses. gotta win this game. i dont care if they beat tottenham. what a fluke, plus tottenham defence is HOPELESS. kaboul is the new boumsong, and dawson is like titus bramble. we shud crush birmingham

  • scott 9

    Dec 8, 2007 at 11:51 AM

    Comment #2

    i agree we have to have a comfortable win today i hope smith scores my prediction 2-0 to the toon.

  • steve

    Dec 8, 2007 at 12:38 PM

    Comment #3

    this is a must win game – I wouldn’t bother with Viduka – he is a fantastically talented player but he is far to lazy – he was same for boro until in his last year of contract where he managed to put some effort in to get himself a contract elsewhere. what a waste of talent, if it’s cold & wet he’ll be more interested in keeping warm with a few layers & gloves on – I half expect a bobble hat 🙂

    Smith & martins have been playing well for the last game and a half – I’d def keep them up front

  • steve

    Dec 8, 2007 at 12:38 PM

    Comment #4

    my prediction 2-0

    come on the toon

  • Hadrian

    Dec 8, 2007 at 1:26 PM

    Comment #5

    we need more than a win imo , we need to set ourselves apart from the likes of brum like we used to , and also regain a bit of pride back from the game last season .
    i want a shit hot performance from the lads and a win ,
    high expectations? i dont think so .


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