It’s very clear that the Premier League and staying in it, is the one and only priority for Newcastle United this season.
We all want to ensure that come next May, we’ll have a happy enough summer, looking forward to another season in England’s top level and looking forward to Newcastle doing more of their thrifty deals to bring in some top players on Tyneside.
We’re not sure we could stand another relegation and all the upheaval that goes with it.
Certainly Newcastle did well in the summer to bring in the five players they did for around £6M, so we all know the Carling Cup tonight is very much a second priority.
This is what manager Chris Hughton said today:
“I’ve never thought about winning a trophy here,” “From the period of time that I’ve been here, and been here as a manager, it’s very much one of what the goals are and what the priorities are.”“The goal and the priority this season is to keep a Premier League season alive, learn from the lessons and, most importantly, be in this division come the end of the season.”
“With the cup competitions, the closer you get, the more you start thinking about the possibility of going further, but the Premier League status is such a big part of what we want this season.”
“The cup games are a very welcome distraction. And, as I say, when you get the results you start thinking about it – but the league is everything.” “I don’t think I would understand supporters preferring to win the Carling Cup than stay up. What this club has to do is develop.”
“We know where this club was, with regards to the status of the team, a good few years ago. But the most important thing for the supporters is that they want to see a team that, at some stage, is competing at the better end of the Premier League.”
One of Chris’ strengths is that he’s obviously sat down with the likes of Mike Ashley and Derek Llambias, and has completely bought into how the club will move forward – its business plan if you like – concentrating on youth development and looking for bargains in the transfer market, and over the last 16 months it has all worked out quite well.
So Chris thankfully looks at both sides of the coin, and is not one of these managers who just demands big money to spend on players and if he doesn’t get it he leaves – why do Martin O’Neill and Rafa Benitez suddenly come to mind?
Managers understanding the financial side of things and therefore what’s available to them in funds, will become even more important starting next season, when UEFA President Michel Platini’s new fair play rules come into operation, and European clubs will be unable to spend unlimited amounts of money on players.
They will be restricted depending on the annual revenues brought in at the club.
Chris explained where the Newcastle club are right now:
“We’ve got a period to go through first where we allow the club to develop as a business. If it’s a straight question, would I prefer to win the Carling Cup this season or stay in the Premier League, then it’s absolutely to stay in the Premier League.”
“There are always financial implications for me from the football point of view, which is where the bulk of my thoughts are. It’s very much that this club needs, to be in the Premier League. It’s a massive club with a great past and support and it needs to be up there.”
“I understand that and at some stage you’re hoping that this club can develop enough and can be in a position to challenge for honors.” “We’ve put ourselves in a position this season where we’re in the last 16 and nothing would give me greater pleasure than to get through to the next stage.”
“But we’re also a team that’s just come back from the Championship and if we’re able to make progress until the later stages, it would be a wonderful bonus for us all.”
Those are good words from Chris, and one reason this man has been able to massively stabilize the club during his short reign as manager.
We’d love to win tonight, don’t get us wrong, but we want to win this coming Sunday against Sunderland – more than anything else – and get 3 more points towards a happy summer next year. 😀