Shat Given has been talking again to the Newcastle Journal today about how our foreign players are starting to settle down now, and also that they played well enough to deserve the clean sheet at Craven Cottage. Shay also points out there is a great spirit amongst the lads.
Shay Given – thinks the foreign players are starting to play much better
Shay told the Journal this morning:
â€œI think the foreign lads are getting used to the physical side a bit more,â€ â€œI think they have had a difficult time because they are used to different leagues where there isnâ€™t as much hustle and bustle â€“ and a big center-forward beating them up for 90 minutes. But they are getting used to it and I thought all the defenders played well against Fulham.â€
â€œThey deserved to come away with the clean sheet and hopefully they will continue to get better as they gain more and more experience of the Premier League. It is a totally different league to the rest of the world, but the signs are definitely there that they are getting more used to it.â€
Newcastle have a busy Christmas coming up with 4 games in 10 days and then we play in the 3rd round of the FA Cup at Stoke City, which will not be easy. In fact for the Stoke games weâ€™d be happy to bring Stoke back to Newcastle for a replay
â€œI suppose the next thing they are going to have to get used to is Christmas in England. We are unique in how much football we play in that period. Iâ€™ve been here a long time and know what it is like. Some of the lads have come from different leagues where they get a couple of weeks off.â€
â€œItâ€™s the hardest time of the year for us because there is so little time to recover between games. Thatâ€™s something theyâ€™re going to have to get used to because the games come thick and fast and theyâ€™ll have to be raring to go.â€
Our next game is at home to bottom of the league Derby County followed by a trip to Wigan Athletic. Both these teams have new managers in Paul Jewell and Steve Bruce respectively, but hopefully they will not be playing too much better than in the first half of the season. Thatâ€™s 6 points we can get from those games, and if we can manage that, weâ€™ll be a lot better off in the league.
â€œWeâ€™ve had to stick together because there have been low times this season, the home games against Portsmouth and Liverpool were especially tough. Itâ€™s at times like that you find out who the real men in the dressing room are, but weâ€™ve stood up and weâ€™ve been counted.”
“The fans were down and the players were down and we have had to dig ourselves out of a hole. The last few weeks we have started to do that and things look as if they are moving in the right direction again.â€
â€œThere has been a lot thrown at us this season but if you donâ€™t play well you deserve to get criticized. I donâ€™t have a problem with criticism, people are entitled to their opinions. It wasnâ€™t good enough against Liverpool or Portsmouth and when you play that poorly you deserve to get criticized.
â€œBut some of it (criticism) has brought us closer together and it was important we did stick together, the players, the staff and the fans, to turn things around and we have hopefully started to do that.â€
Shay always speaks a lot of sense and this is no exception. As we said earlier, if we can win our next 2 games against Derby and Wigan, things will look a lot more rosy in the Newcastle United garden.