Even with all the nonsense that has gone on at the Tyneside club this last 12 months, Cardiff City manager Dave Jones believes the famous Newcastle club have landed on their feet, and they still have a Premier League class side.
Dave Jones – Is this is how he’ll look after the game today? Hope so 😀
Dave said this morning before the big game at the beautiful and sold-out Cardiff City Stadium:
“People started talking about how they would be in trouble this year but the fact is, on the field they still have some really good players,” “They have a bit of financial worry but every club has that.”
“They haven’t really had too many problems, if you look at it. Yes, there has been uncertainty, but going into this season and all the predictions a lot of so-called experts made about how they would struggle and they’ve only sold one or two; and that’s because of the wage bill.”
“Look at the players we’ve had to sell, having to look for somewhere to train every day. We’ve had to work through all that. We’ve had to sell our best players but we’re still knocking on the door.”
“When you look at their squad, it’s still a Premier League squad.” “People within the game knew that, knew that they would be one of the top teams to beat and that’s the case.”
England caps Nicky Butt, Joey Barton and Alan Smith are all expected to start, and with the impressive 22 year-old Danny Guthrie also starting, Newcastle should be very strong in midfield.
The in-form defense will also be at full strength, and the only worry is if the Tyneside club can score goals.
Nile Ranger, 18 and a free-scoring England U19 International, will start up front in the absence of the injured Shola Ameobi, the CCC Player Of The Month, and 20 year-old Andy Carroll, the England U21 International, with former Bolton and England U21 International Kevin Nolan, probably used as a withdrawn striker.
Jones admits the game today is all adding up to a big game:
“For me it has all the elements of a big, big game,”
“The size of the crowd, the noise both sets of fans can make and the teams involved. Perhaps it’s a glimpse of what will be.”
This will be a big test for the rejuvenated and spirited Newcastle side, and the result will tell Newcastle fans, who will be there in abundance again today, whether the team is really a promotion candidate this season.
Let’s hope so.