Coach Chris Hughton is well aware that the next two games for Newcastle will be very tough.
Chris Hughton with Colin Calderwood at WBA game
And that’s because we face Arsenal, currently 4th in the league, and then Chelsea, currently second in the Premier League, in our next two home games, starting this coming Saturday.
We face Arsenal this Saturday, but then it is two weeks before we face Chelsea in our next game, so let’s hope we can get a result against the Gunners. Another defeat will be really hard to take for the next two weeks if that happens.
Newcastle coach Chris Hughton believes that a positive result on Saturday could well kick-start our quest for safety, as he said today:
“The next two will be very tough, no doubt about it,” “But we can look at them in another way and say that a positive result could act as a springboard for the last seven or eight games.”
“We showed against Man United what we can do to teams at St.James’ Park, regardless of the opposition.”
“That game gave us a lot of belief and we must take that into the next two matches.” “Every point counts and we must view every game as a chance to get three points.”
“It’s also important to remember there is still almost a quarter of the season left to play and a lot of points to play for.”
We expect Newcastle to put in a strong performance against Arsenal, but whether we can get anything out of the game is dubious right now. One key to winning the game is to be able to convert any half chances we get, which we were unable to do last Saturday.
There’s no doubt that a result against Arsenal, and especially a win, will do Newcastle fans a a power of good, because we’ve then got two weeks before our next game at home to Chelsea.
We can at least bask in the glory of a win, which is rare these days. Newcastle have just one win in the last 13 games played, so we’re due one, that’s for sure.
The two weeks until the Chelsea game will also give time for some of our injured players, especially Joey Barton, to get closer to full fitness, for the final run-in to the season. Joey, Mark Viduka (yes, he’s injured yet again), and Ignacio Gonzalez (remember him), are all 3 weeks away from returning, according to Physioroom.com.
So we’ll soon have Joey and Ignacio to swell our central midfield ranks, although we have brought Kevin Nolan in during January, because of the injury Joey picked up in the game at at Manchester City.
Uruguayan International Ignacio Gonzalez, who is more than a decent player, has been injured since early September, so he hasn’t been much use to Newcastle this season, having appeared only twice. And we cannot help but think we should have let him return to Valencia in January.
But perhaps in the last few games of the season, he could make a positive impact for Newcastle, and if he can do that and help us survive, then his loan spell will have been worth it – in retrospect.
Certainly our Uruguayan readers seem to be very keen on the player.