Newcastle United captain Nicky Butt has said today that the players have to win over the fans, after their poor play and lack of fight was a major reason the club was relegated last season.
Nicky Butt – players must win back fans
Newcastle captain Nicky Butt has been out of the team since breaking a bone in his left hand at Darlington on July 18th.
In his absence Alan Smith had done an excellent job of leading the team to four points in our first two games.
An amazing 36,944 Newcastle fans turned up on Saturday for our first home game, to see an easy 3-0 win over Reading, and a Shola Ameobi hat-trick, the first of his career.
Nicky told the Telegraph today:
“Whatever has been happening off the pitch we players have to concentrate on getting it right on the pitch and as captain I’ve sensed a new togetherness as we seek to put right what went wrong last season,”
“Two matches in four days following our opening day draw at West Brom will now be crucial in getting us off to the sort of start to the season that can open the way to a sustained promotion challenge.”
“I believe that making home games count will be the key to a full-scale promotion drive between now and May.” “We have the biggest and best ground in the Championship and potentially at least the biggest support which at its best can be worth a heck of a lot of points.”
“The early indications are that following the huge disappointment of relegation, fans are going to be right behind us in the months ahead but we as players have to earn that support.”
“We did that at West Brom in front of a national TV audience. Even though we fell behind we were the better team at that stage and we were still the better team when Duffer [Damien Duff] grabbed that excellent equaliser.”
“Both Reading and Sheffield Wednesday will give us a stiff test but our confidence is high after a largely decent pre-season and that encouraging performance at the Hawthorns,”
“For my part, frustratingly I have been sidelined since breaking a bone in my left hand at Darlington on July 18 and it will probably be another week or two before I’m ready to return to action.”
“Alan Smith has led the lads well in my absence and got the BBC’s Man of the Match award at West Brom, but sitting on the sidelines is not my favourite occupation and I can hardly wait to get back into action, hopefully in time for the match at Crystal Palace.”
In fact right now we are well positioned in central midfield, with Butt, Smith, Barton, Geremi and Guthrie all available.
We need some wingers and full backs before the month is out, to balance the squad, and maybe an experienced striker.
Great words from Nicky above though, and we can now hope that Barry Moat’s offer is accepted by Mike Ashley, Alan Shearer comes back, and we’ll be on our way.
Howay The Lads!!