Newcastle’s longest-serving and one of the most loyal players ever, Steve Harper, will equal Kevin Carr’s club record of six consecutive clean sheets, if Newcastle can stop Blackpool scoring tonight.
Steve Harper – a leader on Tyneside
Steve talked last night about the rehabilitated Newcastle team this season:
“It has been a great team effort,” “We score goals as a team and we prevent goals as a team. I think people are seeing that everyone is working their socks off, and I think the fans are taking great satisfaction from that.”
“Everybody is looking after each other and working hard, and the evidence of that is the results on the pitch.”
“The clean sheets are definitely adding to the confidence, and the longer we can keep this run going, the better. Everybody is working really hard and, at the moment, we’re hard to beat.”
“The run of clean sheets is a sign of how united we are, both as a team and as a coaching staff. There’s a lot of hard work gone in behind the scenes, and the likes of Chris and Colin (Calderwood) deserve medals for what they’re putting up with.”
“The players have really mucked in as well, and we had a couple of great meetings in pre-season where people got a lot of things off their chest.”
“You look around now, look in people’s eyes, and know they’re going to give everything for the shirt. That’s all you can ask for.”
And after the players were panned in the summer following relegation, it seems they have really taken it to heart, and seem now dedicated to returning Newcastle to their rightful place – in the Premier league.
If people in the game didn’t believe before that Newcastle are a Premier League club, with the best support in the land – they do now. With 40,000 average home gates being the 4th highest in all leagues this season, and that figure likely to rise as the new found spirit, fight and passion at the Newcastle club continues.
And the hard-working Geordie public have only ever asked that their football team put in the same effort and slog they do themselves in their daily lives – and suddently there’s that magic that exists again on Tyneside.
And make no mistake, if Newcastle can keep this up for the season – and even get better – there are going to be some records broken by the legendary Newcastle United faithful this season.
Where else, immediately following relegation from the Premier League, would the supporters of a football club stay and sing out load they will support the team forever, as tears streamed down lots of saddened faces that late Sunday afternoon, than at the Newcastle United club?
And that’s what happened on May 24th, after the Villa game, and it didn’t go unnoticed by the millions of folks, who watched the game live around the world, and commented on the great passion that is the Premier League in England.
The only thing they got wrong was that what they were witnessing was really the unbelievable passion of Tyneside for their football and their football team, where the fans are legendary in their support, even in times of great failure, which have been far too much in evidence since the master, Bobby Robson left the club.
And we needn’t add the club has not won a trophy since 1969.
And of course there is still Mike Ashley, the owner, who might admit he’s doing a lot of this stupid stuff on purpose, if only to stop people saying and thinking he’s just completely clueless at running a football club.
And we often have wondered if he’s really any better at running Sports Direct.
Steve Harper added:
“Results breed confidence and it’s about keeping this run going. But we know how tough Blackpool will be on Wednesday. Having said that, though, Cardiff is a hard place to go to and we got a great result there.”
“The games are coming thick and fast but we’re looking forward to them. We’re looking forward to going to Blackpool, and then it’s a home game against Plymouth.”
“We set targets for the first five games before the international break and we’ve set targets for this little six-game block as well. The Cardiff game has helped in terms of that.”
“In terms of the first five games, we said that we wanted to remain unbeaten. We set targets both individually and as a team, and we’re happy with where we are in terms of those.”
Wins are never easy, but they are certainly what builds great teams, and the confidence that goes with it.
You only have had to watch Manchester United at Spurs on Sunday go a goal down away from home within a minute, but work their way back, keep playing football, not panic and win the game 2-1, having given the impressive Spurs side a lesson on how to win football games in adversity.
A win in every game is what the admitted ambition for the Newcastle team is this season, and let’s hope we can keep this great run going tonight at Blackpool, and don’t believe anybody who tells you it will be easy.
Howay The Lads – we can do it!!