We have to think that now the arbitration case between Kevin Keegan and Newcastle United is over with, this has to be viewed as a positive from the players’ viewpoint, as the sale of the club can now go forward, or we hope so in any case, and get the disastrous Mike Ashley out of Toon.
But the win today for Kevin Keegan for £2M, finally puts behind us one of the worst 12 months in Newcastls great history, with the club unfortunately now languishing in the second division, albeit right at the top of the league and currently 3 points clear of WBA in second place.
We have to hope the lads will give that extra performance tomorrow afternoon, that was missing on Wednesday night, so we can get all 3 points and be top the league for the two week International break.
The bad news on the injury front today is that Joey Barton had had an operation on his foot, and will likely be out until next year, so he joins Shola Ameobi on the long term injury list.
We’re just lucky that we are well endowed in central midfield, with Nolan, Butt, Smith, Geremi and Guthrie, and hopefully Joey will not be missed too much. But if we are to bring in some new players, before the loan window closes on November 25th, we could do with a left back and a winger.
Also missing tomorrow will be Ryan Taylor and Fabricio Coloccini, but they are short term injuries, and Ryan may even still have a chance to play tomorrow, but we cannot afford to take any risks either.
Bristol City are in 9th position in the league, with 16 points and should be beatable at St. James’ Park, but certainly their players are all looking forward to the game.
So they could well play way above their mid-table position, like many teams have done against Newcastle this season. Bristol have won 4, lost 4 and drawn two, with 10 goals for and 9 against.
The Newcastle team for tomorrow will almost pick itself, and this is what we think Chris will field for tomorrow:
Simpson Khizanishvili Taylor S. Enrique
Guthrie Smith (c) Nolan Gutierrez
Subs: Krul Kadar Geremi Butt Ranger Lovenkrands Donaldson
That’s a decent team, with a good solid defense on their day, and upfront having Marlon Harewood starting in place of 18 year-old Nile Ranger is probably a good move.
Ranger has played so well for the club so far this season, but he can come on tomorrow as an impact sub in the second half, and it would be great if when he does he can poke that ball in the net for his first senior goal for the club, and get that behind him.
But we think Marlon has now earned his starting position for tomorrow, and he seems so keen to do well at his new club.
The Newcastle players will hopefully have learned on Wednesday that no team will allow themselves to be rolled over by Newcastle, home or away, and the opposite is even true, as they will fight like hell for the full 90 minutes, just like QPR did on Wednesday night.
But after that poor performance, we have to think the lads will be extra keen to come out and prove they are indeed the best side in the division, and start from the first minute tomorrow, with a burning desire for all 3 points.
On ther Bristol City side of things, they will welcome Jamie McCombe back into their squad for the trip to the north-east.
The central defender was sent off in last week’s defeat at Derby after receiving two yellow cards and missed Tuesday night’s impressive 2-0 home win over the surging Blackpool side.
Fellow defender Liam Fontaine, who missed the Blackpool game with a knee problem, should be fit to play.
Paul Hartley will miss the game after coming down with shingles, while goalkeeper Dean Gerken has returned to training following a virus, but is not expected to be well enough to even travel to Newcastle, so Adriano Basso will continue in goal. Danny Haynes could be in line for a start after coming off the bench and grabbing a goal on Tuesday.
Bristol City have yet to win on the road this season, and we have to hope that straak will continue since Newcastle really need all 3 points tomorrow, to make up for Wednesday’s disappointment.
Howay The Lads!!