Newcastle Have A Score To Settle With Blackpool

Chris Hughton has talked today about the Blackpool game tomorrow afternoon, and the fact that has all but two players form the squad available for selection.

Chris Hughton – wants a win tomorrow afternoon – what’s new?

The two players still not available are central defenders Steven Taylor and Fitz Hall, but otherwise there is now terrific competition for places in the side, and every player will want to contribute in the final 5 games of a tremendous season.

We wonder if Chris will be giving players like Tamas Kadar, Tim Krul and Nile Ranger a start – maybe when the Championship is won, which could be after the next two games.

Of course Blackpool beat Newcastle back in September so we have a score to settle with them as Chris said:

“That was earlier in the season, and we’ve developed as a squad and as a team from then. That’s the reason why we’ve been able to sustain the season as we have done.”

“We’ve got a full squad apart from two to choose from, and we’ve got to make sure we keep the competition.”

“We have a lot of good options and choices to think about.” “It’s a good situation to be in.”

In fact even though Newcastle didn’t deserve a point we came incredibly close that Wednesday evening to a draw, when Nile Ranger came on late in the game, and played havoc with the Blackpool defense, and Nile almost scored a late equalizer.

Chris talked about how the lads didn’t play well that evening:

“The first half at Blackpool was our poorest display of the season. When I look back on the games that we have lost, that was the worst.”

“It was a real reminder of what is needed in the Championship to get results.”  “But because of the team we are we still came back and could have got a result despite the poor show.”

“We wouldn’t have deserved it, though.”

And with just two home games remaining Newcastle have a chance of equaling an unbeaten  season at home, which was last achieved by the League One Champions back in 1907, when the lads won 18 of their 19 home games and drew the other game..

An up-beat Hughton continued:

“It’s a record that we are proud of so far.” “And obviously it’s one we are keen to maintain.”

“It’s one of a number of incentives still available to us, even though our main goal of promotion has been achieved.”

“Because of the professional standards that have been set at Newcastle this season, we won’t give anything up easily.”

It was interesting that Alan Smith was rested against Sheffield United, and we would expect Chris to start making a few changes, if only yo give some of the lads a game. But Chris rally wants to win the league, so right now he may play conservative and field his strongest side, which is the one he started last Monday night.

We still expect to win these next 5 games, and if we don’t, it will not be for the want of trying.

Howay The Lads!!

12 comments so far

  • Captain Beefheart

    Apr 9, 2010 at 12:23 PM

    Comment #1

    ‘The two players still not available are central defenders Steven Taylor and Fitz Hall, but otherwise there is now terrific competition for places in the side…’

    Three cheers to the terrific backroom staff this season! Year in year out this club has been dogged with injury (tree roots anyone?) but it’s nothing short of a miracle that 41 league games later and we have more players fit than we had in August.

    This record doesn’t happen by fortuitous accident, but by a sensible policy of not playing players unless 100% OK. Even a slight twinge is treated seriously by Huighton, and the struggling player substituted. This sensible sort of fitness management is in direct contrast to the days of the ‘magic sponge’ and cortesone injections, which often left players crippled in later life.

    Top marks, guys, I’m sure Joey Barton and I are not alone in appreciating your efforts!

  • Thump

    Apr 9, 2010 at 12:42 PM

    Comment #2

    Still amazes me to think we’ve had a full season with minimal injuries (or rather few serious injuries).

    I have to say, I’d love to see some of the youngsters getting a run out (ie: with the seniors, let’s not have another P’boro, eh?) and give Krul a game or two!

  • Charlietoon

    Apr 9, 2010 at 12:59 PM

    Comment #3

    Hmmm I’d like to see Krul get a shot in goal. He should get the chance to play at home for us in front of a big crowd and taking nothing away from Harps but it may reignite some of his passion of the team and the club. Kadar too.


  • Thump

    Apr 9, 2010 at 1:12 PM

    Comment #4

    I’m liking that line up, Charlietoon.

  • Julio Geordio

    Apr 9, 2010 at 1:32 PM

    Comment #5

    Of course being part of a successful season always spurs players onto quicker recoveries, and that works both ways as was brilliantly shown by some players last season.

    Other than that, got to agree with the above comments. This season has given me plenty of surprises, and one reason for this is the sensible management by CH and all.

    It amazes me how much NUFC has changed in the past year. Ok…with relegation it was one step back but it definitely looks like it is going to be 2 steps forward. NUFC is starting to look like a football club instead of an ongoing panto and long may it continue.

  • Captain Beefheart

    Apr 9, 2010 at 1:55 PM

    Comment #6

    I agree. I’d hoped Krul would have got a place against Sheffield United, if only to show that there is genuine competition for the no1 jersey (or whatever it is these days). Harps had a poor game against the Posh (by his high standards) and wasn’t brilliant against Bristol City either, so I’m sure if CH had slipped him a wink and let Tim have a go when it mattered there would have been no slight intended or taken.

    However CH is committed to playing the strongest side, but he has to give the subs a run out at some point of they will be all at sea when they do get called upon. I’m certain once the league is all but wrapped up we can expect to see Krul have the last 3 or 4 games, if only to give Harps a well earned breather for his Herculean efforts before next year.

  • AngerOfTheNorth

    Apr 9, 2010 at 2:16 PM

    Comment #7

    Beefheart – good call on the medical staff and Hughton. There’s a lot of managers who are wiling to take risks with injuries and all too often they don’t pay off. For a massive game, a cup final or an end-of-season relegation six-pointer, it’s understandable. Otherwise, it just doesn’t help long term. Well done CH and co.

    I’d also like to see Krul, Kadar etc given a run out. They’ve put in some good displays and Kadar in particular has shown that he won’t let the side down. A few games will do him good – maybe give Colo a rest before the World Cup.

  • Wallsend Will

    Apr 9, 2010 at 2:38 PM

    Comment #8

    Blackpool manager Ian Holloway has challenged his play-off chasers to spoil another Newcastle party and “smack them off the face of the Earth”.

    Ollie is quoted as saying We’ve got to do something no-one else has done and go to Newcastle to win the game. I want to go there and smack them off the face of the Earth. Do I think we can? I believe we’ll have to be at our best and they’ll have to be a bit sloppy but anything’s possible.

    Chris Hughton is correct to go for a win with his strongest possible side for all remaining games.
    Let’s win the championship in style.

    Congratulations by the way to Chris and all the team for a fantastic achievement. I for one never expected them to get promoted back to the premier league at the first attempt.

  • DJG

    Apr 9, 2010 at 3:16 PM

    Comment #9

    I think we should put out a team that can wollop Ollie and smug little (and I mean LITTLE) blackpool.

    After that if there is daylight between us and the Baggies throw Krul and Kadar, Vuckic on ect for exhibition play!

    To be fair to Krul after the second half against Brom and Harper’s form of late. I wouldn’t class Krul as incapable.

  • wickywoowoo

    Apr 9, 2010 at 3:30 PM

    Comment #10

    Blackpool were the only team this season to not only outplay us but absolutely batter us too. We’ve managed to scrap by when other teams outplayed us but Blackpool jackhammered us.

    When you look at Blackpool, their budget and the fact Charlie Adam (a top class player I’d love at Newcastle) is their record purchase at £250,000, you then realise how incredible a job Ian Holloway has done – on level with what Hughton has achieved.

    I don’t want to lose the home record but quite honestly, if someone HAS to take it, I’d hope it is Blackpool and I hope they make the play-offs too.

  • UTD111

    Apr 9, 2010 at 3:53 PM

    Comment #11

    Krul and Ranger in particular have been unfortunate to have not had more games. Krul has excellent reactions and has to be the future keeper for the team. Ranger’s skill is clearly apparent and he gets through a lot of work dropping back and helping the midfield. Both look like they have very bright futures.


    Apr 9, 2010 at 8:26 PM

    Comment #12

    I can well understand why most of you fellas want to see the kids, but i don’t think its gonna happen.Saw that interview with Chris and think he wants to get all the records,i.e.unbeaten at home,smash the points record,and set a clear sheet record that’s never gonna be broken.


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