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!!