Hughton has today come out and said how big a player Kevin Nolan, the captain, is for Newcastle.
Kevin Nolan – captain in action on Sunday afternoon
Chris Hughton told The Journal this morning:
“Kevin is a big, big player for us. He is key to what we do,”
“What he does for us is play in the important role either off the front man or in the midfield and he will always get into goalscoring positions – that is what makes him important.”
“Even in a very tight game against Stoke, he was in that position to get our best opportunity of the second half. I have no worries about a player like Kevin.”
It seems that Kevin took some criticism for the display on Sunday, and maybe that was appropriate since he’s the captain, but he could well have been the saviour with two goals, if he had put that chance away at the end – but he’s still going to get a lot of goals this season, especially as he now seems the penalty taker too.
We don’t really expect Hughton to make lots of changes on Sunday at Manchester City, but he may tweak the team a little, and we’re not expecting anything from the game, so it’s a good chance for the lads to put right what was another disappointing home performance last Sunday.
But players like Jonas Gutierrez, Sol Campbell, Shola Ameobi and others are all in good form and are making a case to start at Eastlands.
“Of course, we have a lot of players pushing for a starting place against Manchester City, which is a very positive thing, “A lot of players come into my thinking and everyone has the opportunity to stake their claim in training during the week.”
“We have a good squad and the game against Chelsea proves that we have players who can come in and do a job for us.”
Hughton has also said today he is going to keep James Perch at right-back, despite his tragic own goal on Sunday.
There’s no doubt that Newcastle have strengthened their squad in the summer, and as they keep signing new youngsters – like Yven Moyo from Souchaux – they are doing all the right things in the transfer market.
Now Chris Hughton’s challenge is to make the team more professional and consistent, and if we can do that we can still have a surprisingly decent season.
That’s what we are hoping for, and a draw at Eastlands would be a great result for the lads, before the International break.
We certainly don’t want to stew on another defeat for two weeks, before we take on Wigan at home on 16th October.