We don’t know how many times Alan Pardew has watched the Newcastle – Sunderland derby of last Halloween day – but it seems quite a few times.
Alan Pardew – Newcastle discipline is key
Alan watched it on the day it took place, last 31st October, and has seen it on video a few times since then, and he thinks the Newcastle performance was first class, as he said today:
“I watched that game again yesterday. I watched it at home on the day, but I wasn’t really concentrating on it to be honest. I was obviously concentrating when I watched it again, and I thought it was a really disciplined performance from the team.”
“Newcastle caused Sunderland a lot of problems and produced a really first-class display. Andy Carroll was crucial to that. He affected the two center-halves and was a big feature in that game.”
“Is it strange that I don’t have that result in the bank? Possibly. Whatever we do between now and the end of the season, the 5-1 win is almost certainly going to be the stand out result of the season.”
“I’m not going to be able to change that, so I have to accept it. But that doesn’t mean to say that we can’t go there and win, and away from home, that would be some coup for myself. That’s what we’re aiming to do.”
“Whenever you go into a derby, there’s always an enormous electricity around the game. You have a special cup-final type experience.”
“But if you have good experience on the pitch and a game plan, hopefully you can get on the front foot. If you go on the back foot at any stage of a derby, you are in trouble. You’ll get dominated, especially if you’re the away team. So for us it will be a case of stepping on to Sunderland and meeting the challenge head on.”
“I hope my job on the sidelines is not too difficult. Usually, you only become active on the sidelines if things are not going so well. I’d like to think that the disciplined side of our game is correct, because that’s one thing that is going to be very important for both teams.”
“The discipline has to be in good order, and all 11 players have to know their roles. It’s very difficult to introduce substitutes in derby situations because it’s hard for them to pick up the pace of the game straight away. But in terms of the challenge on the sidelines, it won’t be a problem for me.”
Andy Carroll did make a big difference in that game, but the bad news of yesterday is of course that Andy is out of the game, and maybe the next one too, with his thigh injury.
So we are hoping that Shola Ameobi will be stepping up to the plate, but Newcastle showed against West Ham, without both local strikers, that there are still goals in the side when the top two strikers don’t play.
Kevin Nolan and Joey Barton will be two huge players tomorrow for Newcastle, but another key player – Cheick Tiote – will be missing through suspension.
There’s no reason Newcastle cannot beat Sunderland again, if we can play at the level of the last two league games – wins at Wigan Athletic and the 5-0 hammering of West Ham.
However, if we play like we did at Stevenage in that second half last Saturday, we’ll be beaten, it’s as simple as that.
So it’s again a case of which Newcastle side will turn up tomorrow – and we have to hope it’s the good one – the one that can get the double over old enemy Sunderland.