Kevin Nolan Reflects On Pre-Season So Far

We had expected Kevin Nolan to have been appointed captain of Newcastle United by now, but he still has to be the red hot favorite to be given the captain’s armband, after last year’s terrific season at Newcastle, both on and off the field of play.

Kevin Nolan – so far so good

Newcastle suffered their first pre-season defeat on Saturday at Norwich City,  and Nolan  talked about the game with the Evening Chronicle today:

“The result’s not crucial, but losing always hurts, especially when we did so well last year, and we want to take the run and momentum into next season.”

“Norwich are a good side. They’ve come up as champions, and are full of confidence.” “They did really well, and they’re probably a week ahead of us. You’ve got to take all that into account.”

“We know what we have to do. We’re on track, and we’ve got a couple of games coming up, so I think you’ll start seeing a bit more shape.”

“It was like a working day for us. We had two tough days beforehand, and that wouldn’t have happened before any normal game.” “Hopefully, we’ve got what we needed out of it.”

“We’re in the games to win – we don’t want to lose – but, at the end of the day, it’s not a massive priority at this moment in time.”

“In the next couple of weeks we’re going to see more of a shape, and more of the 11-18 players who are going to be there or thereabouts going into the first game of the season.”

There are no real excuses for losing at Norwich, and we have to remember there were around 20 Newcastle players given a game, and that’s one of the main features of pre-season – although it’s always nice to win, we have to admit that.

Nolan continued:

“It’s hard. You play one half, and you come off, so you’re probably doing things you wouldn’t do in a normal league game.”

“You’re pressing when you shouldn’t, and you try to get more runs in and be a bit sharper. Sometimes you do the wrong things, as you’re trying to work harder.”

“In the coming weeks, when we’ve got to play for the full 90 minutes, your decisions all start to come together.”  “We’re reasonably happy with the way things are going.” “Hopefully, we’ve come through with no injuries.”

“Unfortunately, we lost Steven Taylor last week at Carlisle, which is a massive blow to us. We lost Perch in training.”

“A lot of young lads have stepped in and done really well, and I’m pleased for them, but we’ve got to make sure we get on the training ground on Monday and that we’re ready to go.”

“Hopefully, we’ll be fitter and stronger than we were last year./

One thing we’d love to see this coming season is for Newcastle to be one of the fittest sides in the Premier League. We may not be the most skillful but there’s absolutely nothing stopping us from being the fittest, and be able to push games until the very last minute.

That’s a thing the great Kevin Keegan used to say – and it makes an awful lot of sense.

Comments very welcome

13 comments so far

  • G

    Jul 26, 2010 at 3:03 PM

    Comment #1

    I’m begining to flap a bit about the injuries happening already, but I honestly don’t give a hoot about friendly results. Prem results are the only ones that matter. Anything else is nice, but non-essential.

  • Toon XI

    Jul 26, 2010 at 3:20 PM

    Comment #2

    I know we had deadbeats on the club during our relegation season, but I believe injuries played a larger role in our descent into the CCC. I firmly believe this season’s survival will hinge on our fitness more than anything else. We need our key players to stay healthy – Period!

  • chuck

    Jul 26, 2010 at 3:37 PM

    Comment #3

    What this game has shown is the reality of the present NUFC.
    Apart from the euphoria of winning the league and promotion, the fact is this is not a great EPL side and one that will be expected to struggle this season.
    The talent is just not there, apart from the two Argentino`s and perhaps Taylor and Joey, few on the side would bring £5m. on the market.
    Whereas other sides star player could cost as much as the entire squadcombined.
    Unless there`s some movement to-wards bringing in some decent players, it`s difficult not to see a fight just to avoid relegation.
    Sure you can talk about fitness levels and a to-gether dressing room, face it what else does this side have to talk about?
    But it`s on the pitch where talent will out, not talk.
    As for the stablization of the club and a new sense of fiscal responsibility, it`s bullshit, another way of covering up for the owners reluctance to put his hand in his pocket .
    Would`nt be surprised if teams like Blackpool and Stoke outspend us.
    In which case there appears to be another five year plan
    Everyone ready to watch a bunch of second rate plodders go nowhere for the next five years, I think not.
    Then what do i know ?

  • Zangwill_Ho

    Jul 26, 2010 at 3:40 PM

    Comment #4

    we need a powerful striker

  • Zangwill_Ho

    Jul 26, 2010 at 3:41 PM

    Comment #5

    The best attack , is the best defence

  • chuck

    Jul 26, 2010 at 4:31 PM

    Comment #6

    Wow ! hear not only Ben Arfa but Raul is on his way, if wer`e lucky we may get Ireland and Onuoha
    from Citeh.
    Then loanees cleverly and Van Aanholt, what a side wer`e gonna have, eh!
    Actually you can ignore the two first paragraphs, truth is we are about to signJlloyd Samuel a nother journeyman plodder and continue to rummage in the bargain basements of places lik Scunthorpe and Stockport.
    And no doubt come up with more hidden gems from the lower divisions, for next to nowt.
    Are we not lucky, eh ?

  • callie9

    Jul 26, 2010 at 4:40 PM

    Comment #7

    @ chuck

    You say that Stoke and Blackpool etc will outspend us, but you have to remember we already have a better squad than them anyway, so don’t need to spend as much. Gosling and Perch are young signings who are raw but have the desire and potential to improve. I’d say the likes of Carroll, Enrique, Guthrie and Nolan would have something to say about not being worth £5m. Our history of big name big money signings isn’t exactly great, bar Shearer. I’d much much sooner bring in a 20 year old on a free with the desire to play for the black and white than spend 8mil on a foreigner who has no idea what Newcastle is all about. If at xmas we are struggling badly then that’s the time to reassess and be pessimistic. But for christ’s sake can’t we just be optimistic and believe in our team, in our manager and heaven forbit in our owner to continue where we left off last season and survive. There’s good business to be done this season and a good set of 4-5 players can be signed for less than 8mil if we are astute, and I have every faith in CH being just that.

  • chuck

    Jul 26, 2010 at 4:41 PM

    Comment #8

    Ben” Arfa mo” and Raul on their way, followed no doubt by Ireland and either Richards or Onuoha, cant wait, gonna tear the Epl apart.
    Actuall it`s gonna be another journeyman plodder
    Jlloyd Samuel and a rummage around the bargain basements, for those hidden gems in places like Stockport and Doncastert.
    We should have a side that could do well in the second tier, once we are relegated, cause thats the type of side we are building !

  • Captain Beefheart

    Jul 26, 2010 at 4:41 PM

    Comment #9

    Toon XI @ 2

    You make a very important point. And not just the relegation season either, we have had a jinx on injuries for well over 10 years (arguably longer). ROOTS!!! I had hoped we had started to sort it out last season, but here we are again setting up Emergency Ward 10 (..younger readers, I do apologize for my cultural displacement, it was the original Casualty..) after a couple of weeks kicking a football around.

    If we can’t beat Norwich – even if their team was ‘a week ahead’ – then we need to be seriously worried. Wheat from Chaff time, Chris, lets let a few of the wasters and also-rans go (just like last year) and get down to a core squad that means business. If we need strengthening then Mr Ashley will have to take responsibility. CH can only work with what he has got, and we are going to be found out very quickly.

    Without a win on the board by mid-September & we can start booking the trip to Doncaster again… Which would be fitting as this lot seem to be still living the Coca Cola dream! Wakey, WAKEY!! (err, sorry I did it again this time Billy Cotton, the original, well, Billy Cotton).

  • baro

    Jul 26, 2010 at 5:26 PM

    Comment #10

    I think Kevin Nolan will be our captain.

  • Chris F

    Jul 26, 2010 at 6:31 PM

    Comment #11

    jesus wept, it was a 2-1 defeat in preseason.

    man u got beat by a bunch of yanks the other night, i wonder if their fans are all doom and gloom about it?

    considering the defence we had out playing, it’s not an awful result. hughton didn’t take a few players, remember.

    do any of you honestly expect james tavernier and wayne routledge to line up in defence at old trafford?

    nowt like a toon fan’s overreaction, is there? and you wonder why they take the piss out of us.

  • sjc07

    Jul 26, 2010 at 6:39 PM

    Comment #12

    Nice to see we are all behind the boys!!

    Pre season is a time to try things and in all honest there is not much to play for. Take a look at other teams pre season Man Utd, Man City and Chelsea have all been beaten. The start of the season is the time to judge not now!

  • Freddie

    Jul 27, 2010 at 6:20 PM

    Comment #13

    Why is every being so negative? this is the best team we have had in years because for the first time in years, we have players that play for one another, and for the mighty toon army! we should get behind our boys and see the young talent coming in as a positive rather than anegative because its something to build upon! CH is the right man to take this team forward so lets continue to be the best fottball fans in the world


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