Alan Shearer has talked at length today about this week’s training, and what the lads must expect at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday.
Alan Shearer – has fully thought through the Stoke game
Alan talked at length to the Evening Chronicle this afternoon, so let’s take a look at everything he said about the vital and so crucial game at Stoke on Saturday:
“It’s been a good week and one I’ve enjoyed, hard work and long hours.” “The response has been fantastic from the local people and the players.” “Their attitude towards what we’ve tried to put in place and change has been positive.” “Training has also been upbeat.”
“It’s important we changed one or two things.” “We’re third bottom for a reason.” “People can make excuses for all sorts of reasons and it’s up to us to get out of it.” “We go in on Saturday with great hope and confidence.” “It’s imperative to get something.” “We’ve got a late kick off and things might change.”
“But we’re going there for three points.” “What the players have done is put in a good shift this week and hopefully taken some confidence from what they’ve done.” “We’re looking eradicate silly errors from our game.” “To do that you need to concentrate for 90 minutes, sometimes 95 minutes.” “There will be a lot of long balls kicked into our box.”
“We have to be big enough to handle that.”
Those long balls into the box are just one reason why we must have Sebastien Bassong at center-back against Stoke, since Coloccini is decidedly weak in the air, as he proved only too well against Liverpool, when Sami Hyypia dominated him on corners. Of course the young Bassong was out suspended for that game, and we missed him badly in that game.
But with Steven Taylor and Jose Enrique both missing the game on Saturday, we think the best bet would be to have Ryan Taylor at left back and somebody else – maybe even Coloccini or David Edgar at right back. But the absence of those two defenders will tend to weaken our defense, at a time we can hardly afford to give up too many goals, if we are to win the game.
It will take all of Alan’s inspiration and the solid management of Iain Dowie, for us now to get the win we so desperately need on Saturday evening.
But we have to continue to live in hope, and trust the players will wake up from their 15 game nightmare, in which they have only one solitary win, and start to deliver the goods, before it gets to be just too late.