Newcastle were not the only Premier League side to be eliminated at the first hurdle last Saturday, as local rivals Sunderland also had a surprise 3-1 defeat against Notts County at the Stadium of Light.
Kevin Nolan – pleased with Newcastle league performance so far
So Sunderland will be hoping to bounce back from the embarrassing defeat, just like Newcastle will, and so the local derby is well set up for a another great game.
Of course Sunderland will also be hoping to make up for their 5-1 pounding at St. James’ Park, and will have seen that Newcastle can still hit the heights with our 5-0 hammering of West Ham last week, with both our top strikers missing.
Newcastle captain Kevin Nolan has said that both sides are well positioned in the league, which is very good for the area.
This is what Kevin said today:
“We’re eighth and they’re sixth. It’s great for the region and really sets up the derby. It’s fantastic. We have got to be so happy, the way we have come into the Premier League.”
“The Tyne-Wear derby is going to be a classic. Obviously, they are a wounded animal after what happened at St James’ the last time we met, but it is up to us to go there and make sure we put in another professional performance. Hopefully if we do that, our strategy goes according to plan.”
“I joined this club before the derby two seasons ago and made my debut in it. At that time, it was almost as if the clubs were dragging each other down, so it is nice to be going into one with both teams going well in the Premier League.”
Sunderland are 5 points ahead of Newcastle on 33 points but have played one more game, but there’s no doubt they are well positioned to challenge for Europe.
We don’t like to talk too much about Europe this season, because we are still not a consistent side at all, as we demonstrated so well last Saturday, when we were outplayed by a division four side – let’s update that – well outplayed by a division four side.
Of course Newcastle were missing 7 first team players, but the Newcastle squad should be good enough to beat the lower league sides, but it certainly wasn’t the case on on Saturday, which is rather worrying.
“That is what we want. No matter what, we want healthy competition in our region and the fact is that Sunderland have a fantastic chance of Europe, and Steve Bruce has done a great job there.”
“I know he has had a lot of money to spend, but he has still had to produce the results and I think they have done really well. Hats off to them.”
“Hopefully, if we get the money, we can spend like they have done and then start pushing them because they have really got to be looking at Europe, while we are a team that has just come up and cannot allow ourselves to get carried away about what we have done this year.”
Both the Newcastle and Sunderland sides will have a chance to make it up to their fans this coming Sunday afternoon, after their ignominious exits from the FA Cup, and it’s a toss up as to which side will win the game.
But last time out, Newcastle got their first double of the season when they beat West Ham for a second time, and we are hoping for our second come Sunday night.
In the relegation season, Newcastle had but six wins and only one double – against WBA (2-1 at home and 3-2 away), and since Newcastle already have 8 wins and 9 come Sunday evening – the lads are doing very well indeed – at least in the league.
The FA Cup was not a priority this season in any case. 😀