Tomorrow is an important game for Newcastle, since it’s now 3 full games since we recorded our last win, in probably our best display of the season, when we defeated Aston Villa 2-0 at St. James’ Park on 3rd November.
Since then we’ve been beaten in a winnable game at Fulham and could only draw against fellow strugglers Wigan Athletic at home. And then last week in a game we didn’t expect to get anything out of, we gave our best defensive performance at Chelsea to record a 0-0 draw, and gain a valuable point.
So the last few games have hardly gone with any form, but Newcastle must get back on the winning track tomorrow, in a game the club should be able to win against Middlesbrough, although it will certainly not be easy.
One difficulty with Middlesbrough is you never know which team is going to turn up, and while they’ve given some sturdy and good displays this season, at other times, like against Bolton last week at home, they haven’t looked so good.
For Newcastle there are several keys to winning the game:
- Go all out on attack form the start tomorrow. We have proved we have good attacking players in Owen, Gutierrez, Martins and Zog, and if we can attack Middlesbrough from the start we may be able to get ahead early in the game, which will give the lads that extra confidence. We should do this for every game we think we can win, home or away, which should be most of them.
- We need our defense to start putting in more consistent performances, and we expect the same back four to be given another outing tomorrow, and if they can play anywhere near their great form of last week, we should be able to hold Middlesbrough.
- We’ll need Guthrie and Butt to be at their best tomorrow, so we can grab hold of central midfield, from which we can start our attacks, And tomorrow we’ll look for the lads attacking together and defending together. Their defensive performance as a team last week was just great to watch, and now we need the same thing on attack tomorrow, with Beye and Enrique attacking when they can down the wings.
We expect the defense to be unchanged from last week but both Ameobi and Duff are unavailable through injury, so we expect the line-up to be as follows:
Beye Coloccini Bassong Enrique
Gurtierrez Butt Guthrie N’Zogbia
Owen (c) Martins
Subs: Harper Taylor Cacapa Geremi LuaLua Viduka Carroll
A win tomorrow will see us handily placed in the league, after such a terrible start when we lost 5 games in a row after Kevin Keegan had resigned from the manager position.
We have slowly clawed our way back since then, with 10 points from 8 league games, but we are still precariously placed at third from bottom.
However, on the positive side we are also just 5 points behind Everton, who are in 7th place, and so a place in Europe next season is certainly not beyond us, even now. 😀
A win tomorrow will be very nice, thanks very much.
Howay The Lads!