Kevin Keegan will impress on his players that they need to give the Newcastle fans something to shout about tonight, by going all out against hosts Real Mallorca in the Summer Cup.
Kevin Keegan – will urge his players to go all out
Newcastle, as expected, have been very well supported in Mallorca over the last few days, but the team performed way below par on Friday night to lose 1-0 to Hertha Berlin.
Newcastle came away with zero points while Hertha got 4 points – 3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw and 1 point for every goal scored.
The odds are now well against Newcastle to win the Cup, and the defeat on Friday has certainly taken some of the shine off tonight’s game.
Real Mallorcaâ€™s opening 4-2 win over Hannover 96 coupled with Newcastle’s 1-0 loss to Hertha Berlin means that Mallorca has 7 points, Hertha Berlin 4 points, Hannover 96 on 2 points and Newcastle still on a duck ( for US fans a duck is a zero score by the batsman in that venerable game of cricket).
Only a low-scoring Hannover victory, and a taking apart of the hosts by Newcastle tonight, wouldÂ give Newcastle the trophy. We like the sound of that “taking the hosts apart’ bit there – maybe we can do just that.
That’s what we should be aiming to do, and that’s all we can do, and that’s what we should try to do.
Newcastle are also facing the embarrassment of finishing the game at the bottom of the table, so Kevin is definitely looking for a good response from his team, after Friday’s dismal display.
Kavein talked to the Sunday Sun today:
â€œI seem to repeat myself every year â€” but the problem at this football club has always been getting a team to match the supporters.“
â€œItâ€™s a massive challenge for anybody to do that and itâ€™s my challenge to do that at the moment.
â€œThatâ€™s what I will try to do and Iâ€™m doing my very best to do exactly that.â€
Newcastle had a light session today before tonightâ€™s game at the Bilboni Stadium, and they are without striker Shola Ameobi, who pulled a hamstring on Friday night, and is out for around 10 days.
Not sure who we’ll be playing up front tonight with Alan Smith, but we could do a lot worse than play James Milner there, since he started his career as a striker.
He cannot do much worse than Shola and Alan did on Friday night, that’s for sure.
We also have teenagers Frank Danquah and Ryan Donaldson on the trip, but we think Kevin is unlikely to play either of them, unless one of them has really impressed in training.
It could be James Milner, Damien Duff or even new signing Jonas Gutierrez as a makeshift forward tonight up front with Smith, who just must start scoring goals.
Kevin was a little concerned about the team’s lack of penetration in the final third of the field on Friday and he continued:
â€œWe didnâ€™t create enough chances on Friday.” â€œItâ€™s always good to test yourself against European sides in pre-season.
â€œHertha Berlin were a different type of opposition for us and that was a good test and that will be the same against Real Mallorca tonight.”
â€œThe main thing for us is to get time on the pitch and get the new players integrated and from that point of view it has been very useful.â€
â€œBeing away from home has been very good for us too.” “To come out as a group and be together like this is good.”
â€œThe morale in the squad is much better than when I first came in.” â€œBut it can build up even more as players get into condition for the new season.
â€œThe players were tired on Friday night because itâ€™s been so hot over here, as you would expect at this time of year.”
â€œWith the game being later on Sunday that will help us too and the players will step their game up because itâ€™s against the host club Real Mallorca.
â€œYou cannot really judge anybody on pre-season results though.” â€œThey are nice to get but results are only part of pre-season until the season starts for real.â€
Good words from Kevin again, and we’d like to see the lads go all out for a big win tonight – anything else will be disappointing.