One reason Alan Pardew took the lads out to Portugal last week, was to ensure they were fully fit and had enough stamina to play all-out for the full 90 minutes, and injury time too.
Mike Williamson – tough training all last week
And it seems that Pardew worked on the players’ fitness big time last week, and both circuit training and hard running were on the agenda, during a punishing schedule.
And it appears new Assistant Manager John Carver was seeing to the shuttle runs and hard graft even on Friday back on Tyneside, so we expect to see a very fit Newcastle side on Wednesday night at Craven Cottage, and hopefully we can all 3 points.
Newcastle center-back Mike Williamson talked about the Portugal trip:
“The gaffer wanted to get some work done out there. We’ve been struggling with the pitches and the cold weather over here so it was great to get out there,”
“It was hard work but we spent a decent amount of time as a team too.” “There was golf tournaments, table football, table tennis . . . always staff against the players, so I don’t think I need to tell you who won!”
“Our aim is to not let our performance levels drop from now until the end of the season and hopefully that will be the case.” “We had some seriously dodgy results earlier in the season but recently we’ve taken points – and beaten – some of the biggest teams in the league so people know what we can do.”
“The lads know that the mindset has to be that we go into every game as if we’re playing a Manchester United, a Chelsea or an Arsenal. They are the top teams, they are the teams that we’ve generally done well against so we have to replicate that attitude that we’ve had in those games.”
And there have been good performances by many of Newcastle’s players over the last month or so, and of course Mike himself, has been in great form – apart from the FA Cup game at Stevenage, where he maybe had his worst game in a black and white shirt. Apologies for bringing Stevenage up again.
One thing Alan Pardew seems to have been successful at is tightening up the back four, and of course the lads have conceded only 2 goals in the last four league games, and both in injury time , of course.
But Mike’s a good sensible guy, and he will learn things about himself from that poor display, and hopefully will continue to improve and become a better player for Newcastle United.
That’s just exactly what we want to see.
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