Today is a big day for Newcastle fans, as the lads take on the might of Manchester United at Old Trafford, in their first Premier League game of the season.
Chris Hughton – it will be a tough season
Add to that the game is being televised live around the world, and it’s perhaps a fitting start to the campaign.
But we have no idea how the lads will do, and in truth we are not expecting anything out of the game in terms of points, other than the lads giving everything they have and making it competitive.
The name of the game this season is survival, and most Newcastle fans want to see Newcastle still in the Premier League in a year’s time when next season kicks off.
Chris Hughton, the Newcastle manager for over a year now, has given an interview today in which he talks about survival and this is what he had to say:
“Some have spoken about survival and in some ways it’s not a nice word because when you’re going into a season you want to be optimistic. Survival is not a word that we like to use, but we are realistic to know it will be a very tough season,”
“We take great heart from what Wolves and Birmingham were able to do last season but we are realistic.” “The ultimate is to make sure that, come the end of the season, we are still in the Premier League.”
“I think that the problems that we had at the start of last season and in particular in the summer going into that division, made people reason that Newcastle is not where it was a few years ago. In some ways itt has helped, that expectation levels have dropped.”
Newcastle have had a torrid history over the last 15 years or so, and have had far too many managers in the time since Kevin Keegan left in January, 1997.
Newcastle also have a very bad habit of sacking managers at the beginning of the season, and three that have left before the end of August that come to mind quickly in the last 12 years are Bobby Robson, Kenny Dalglish and Ruud Gullit.
It’s probably the worst time to sack a manager, when everything is in place and the summer signings have largely been made.
But Chris Hughton has vast experience in coaching, and served under eight different managers while at Tottenham, and he has done a tremendous job since he was placed in charge of Newcastle of steadying the ship, creating a great team spirit in the squad and getting the best out of his players.
“I’ve never felt I have had anything to prove. For me it’s always been about doing the best job I can in the role that I’m in.”
“I think the experiences I had at my previous club has held me in good stead for the roles that I have had here, because what I got used to was adapting, filling in for a change of manager and holding the fort,”
We approach the game with excitement and just a little bit of trepidation, having watched the Liverpool Arsenal game yesterday the game seems to be played at such a torrid pace – especially at the beginning – and the Newcastle players will have to be ready for a very quick start.
The very last thing we want to do tonight is to concede an early goal, and the longer we can keep it all square at Old Trafford the better we will be, and the more confidence the lads will get.
Here’s hoping for the very best tonight.