Pardew thinks Newcastle’s next two games at home against Bolton and Everton are vital.
Stephen Ireland – should be ready for game at Stoke
Both Shola Ameobi and Stephen Ireland will not be in the squad today, but they will be back for definite after the Everton game next Saturday (Shola could even make it next week), and there are still 9 games left in the season, starting with Stoke City away on 19th March – which is 3 weeks today.
Alan talked about the importance of today’s home game with Bolton, and the Lancashire club are just one point above Newcastle in the league in 8th position:
“If we get a win then suddenly we’ll have momentum and we’ll have those two coming back into the squad so it’s a big game,” “This is a crucial game. When you look at the home games we’ve got left, our home games look better than they have.”
“We’ve had some really tough home games but there’s a chance to win some of those. We’ve got Manchester United in there but the rest we’d like to think we’ve got a good chance in, so this is a key game.”
“If we can jump above Bolton suddenly we can look at those games and really look to push on, but if we lose it knocks us back. Momentum is the big thing for me.”
“The pleasing thing is that at spells this season we’ve lost Cheick and we did okay, we lost Shola and did okay, we’ve obviously lost Andy Carroll and we’re still going along quite nicely.”
That’s certainly true, and it says a lot for the fringe players in the squad, who have come in and done a job for the team.
And we should see both Taylors back today, Ryan and Steven, at least on the bench, and that’s another good sign that the Newcastle squad will become a lot stronger as the weeks go by.
And Newcastle should also have the great Ben Arfa back for the home game against Wolves on April 2nd, which is a must win for the lads, and a great time for the Frenchman to return.
So it seems that things are looking quite good for the Newcastle club at his stage of the season, and the lads are doing so much better than we had ever hoped for last August.
A win today would be simply fantastic, and as Alan said it would further increase the team’s momentum.
Howay The Lads!!