Newcastle’s game against Fulham tomorrow is the second crucial game for the team in the last six days, and we are going to be disappointed, if the lads cannot somehow get a win tomorrow afternoon.
It’s going to be much more difficult than it was against Middlesbrough, as Fulham are now a top team, and currently 7th in the Premier League.
With a good manager, Roy Hodgson, at the helm, it shows what progress can be made in just one season, because Roy was the miracle worker who managed to get Fulham to win 4 of their last 5 games to avoid relegation last season, on goal difference. You talk about not giving up!
They were the cardiac kids of last season, and they have come on by leaps and bounds this season, to their credit.
Alan Shearer also quite obviously has a warm spot for their manager Roy Hodgson, because he was full of praise today for what Roy has managed to do this season (and last).
Roy should really be a top contender for Manager of the Season, but he will not win it and may not even be a contender, because you can bet one of the top four club’s managers will win it – or even Martin O’Neil.
But a top coach is one who can get the very best out of the players he has at his disposal, and they aren’t the ones necessarily who can go out and get a couple £25M players at the end of each season, to improve their side. However, we hasten to add that Alex Ferguson, Rafael Benitez, Arsene Wenger and Guus Hiddinl are world class managers – but most of them have big money to spend, unlike Roy.
Just like Middlesbrough had something big to play for last Monday, so do Fulham tomorrow. The London club has an excellent chance of finally getting into Europe – and what a turnaround that would be – from relegation certainties one season (well almost) to European qualifiers the next.
As we said, we would vote for Roy as manager of the Season – because he deserves the honor.
However, we also have to hope that Roy and his team are not at their very best tomorrow, because anything but a win for Newcastle could put us back in the drop zone, and with our next game against 5th place Aston Villa at Villa Park, that could put us in a very difficult spot.
We cannot get ahead of ourselves at Newcastle, and we also have to remember that a defeat tomorrow, coupled with anything less than a defeat by Hull at Bolton Wanderers, will see us 3rd bottom again. With one tough game away to play, that possible scenario has to keep us very humble about tomorrow’s match.
The lads were so brilliant on Monday night, with their best home performance of the season, that we doubt Alan will make many changes this time around to the side. We do expect one change with Danish striker Peter Lovenkrands replacing Jonas Gutierrez on the left wing.
This is the team we expect tomorrow:
Beye S.Taylor Bassong Duff
Guthrie Butt Nolan Lovenkrands
Owen (c) Viduka
Subs: Krul Coloccini Smith Carroll R.Taylor Martins Gutierrez
That’s a rather strong starting eleven, based on current form, and not too bad a subs bench either, but make no mistake this is a game we just have to win. Failure to do so could well put us back in the relegation zone, and if that happens it could be too late for us to escapoe.
We ask the Newcastle players to go out tomorrow and play this game as though their very lives depended on winning the game.
If the lads can do that it will be time for celebration, but then we’ll have to beat Aston Villa too, just to make sure of our survival.
Howay The Lads – make us proud tomorrow !!