After their best performance of the season last Friday night, when they hammered Cardiff City 5-1 – what do you expect Newcastle will do in their next game?
A let-down is what usually what happens after such a great performance, and we have to remember that even though the lads were just great, it was just one game.
Indeed, in the previous game at Leicester City, the team had trouble matching the Midlands side, and they only had 10 men from the 29th minute on.
But Chris Hughton and the coaches at Newcastle will have been drumming it into their strengthened squad, that they have to perform like last Friday night, in every one of the 18 league games remaining.
Well at least go out there with that intention.
And tomorrow night at Derby County will be a good test of the team, to see if Friday’s performance was a flash in the pan, or that they can indeed start to play some good, attacking football through the end of the season.
Certainly, with two good attacking wingers in Gutierrez and Routledge, there should be lots of chances created, and if only we can take some of them – we should win lots of games through May.
That’s because the defense has been so strong this season, and a new back four of Simpson Hall Williamson and van Aanholt, didn’t look too bad on Friday night either.
Who would have thought the defense would have done so well in the absence of Steven Taylor, Collocini and Jose Enrique.
We hear that Coloccini is still doubtful, and therefore we’d be surprised if Hughton risks the Argentine, who is due a rest in any case, so we expect the defense to be unchanged from Friday night.
In midfield, it seems that captain Alan Smith will return, after being rested on Friday night, so that means Nolan or Guthrie will probably have to start on the bench.
We’d like to see Guthrie given another start tomorrow night, because this lad needs more games in the middle of the park, and he can then get an opportunity to show us just what a good player he can become in a black and white shirt on Tyneside.
Up front, we expect Andy Carroll to start, if only because he’s in such good form, but surely Peter Lovenkrands deserves a start, after scoring 6 goals this year already, and some real opportunistic goals as well.
Chris may want to give Shola Ameobi a start, so that he remembers what it’s like to play in the first team – since he hasn’t had too many games lately.
So this is the side Chris could start tomorrow night at Derby:
Simpson Williamson Hall van Aanholt
Routledge Smith (c) Guthrie Guttierez
Subs: Krul Kadar Butt Nolan Ameobi Best Taylor (R)
That’s a good side, and we need to go all out for the win, after Derby took 2 points off us at St. James’ Park in late December.
The lads in training on Monday at Benton
On the Derby side, David Martin could make his Derby debut tomorrow night, if his loan move from Millwall goes through in time.
Midfielder Lee Croft could also come into the team, after returning to full training following his hamstring injury.
But Dean Leacock and Lee Hendrie will definitely miss out tomorrow night, as they continue to recover from their respective knee and hamstring injuries.
It should be a good game tomorrow night, which has a full schedule of Championship games taking place, but quite honestly anything but a win for the Magpies tomorrow night, will be a disappointment.