Newcastle manager Chris Hughton is rightly anticipating a tough game on Sunday afternoon, as Stoke City are a difficult side to play, at the best of times.
Chris Hughton – Stoke can be difficult opponents
Chris talked about Stoke today:
“We’re back to Premier League business after the high of Chelsea.” “We know what you get from Stoke.” “They’re an established Premier League team.” “We know they can be difficult opponents.”
“They’re a physical side and they’ve improved every year.” “They play a high-tempo game, and are very good at set plays, like Rory Delap’s long throws.”
“That’s what we’re up against, but we won’t worry too much about their game.” “If you do that, you don’t impose your game on them, which is what we want to do.”
Stoke manager Tony Pulis has done a fabulous job for Stoke since he joined them back in 2006, and as Chris says – they have established themselves as a Premier League side, and of course have some fantastic support down there at the Britannia Stadium.
And of course Chris will have a few selection problems for Sunday after he has played two different sides in the last two games and got two excellent away wins.
We need to keep the win streak going and Everton and Chelsea away were very difficult games. Although Stoke City at home is not easy, it’s an easier game than out last two – so we’ll be hoping for all 3 points.
Chris may go back to the starting side that played at Everton but surely one or two players from Wednesday have earned a start on Sunday.
Two that could be in the starting eleven are Ryan Taylor and Shola, who seems to be on his top form right now, and scoring goals for fun – and certainly Shola and Andy up front would give the tall tough Stoke defenders something to really think about on Sunday.
Newcastle are in good form at the moment and on a decent run, but we were that also before Blackpool arrived at St. James’ Park – and we lost to the relegation favorites.
So nothing is ever certain with Newcastle, but a win would start to show that this Newcastle team are starting to become a more professional side, and able to deliver the goods week in and week out.
That’s what we want to see next from this Newcastle side, and a win on Sunday would be great – just great.