Newcastle will play their final pre-season warm up game today at 3:00pm against top Italian side Fiorentina.
John Carver – mmm
And with the Joey Barton episode still going – less the tweets hopefully since the ban earlier this week by the club on talking about anything to do with Newcastle, the Geordie fans are worried about how all this has affected team spirit.
That’s one of Assistant Manager John Carver’s responsibilities, and he talks today about the Fiorentina game, and how things have been a little difficult this pre-season.
This is what John said this morning;
“It has been slightly difficult having a group of players in Holland and a group in America,”
“The most important thing now is that we are here, we are together and it is even more important the players are fully prepared so that everybody is at their maximum when we go into that first game against Arsenal.
“We are almost there. Up until the Leeds game we were in exactly the same position fitness-wise we were last year when we played up at Rangers.” “So from a conditioning point of view we are in a good, strong position.
“The fact that we had players in different parts of the world made things quite difficult, but we are together now and training has been upbeat.” “There has been lots of good quality and enthusiasm, so I think we are right on target.”
“We have a good test today and that is the way it was planned in pre-season. Fiorentina are one of the top European sides. It is a game which is going to be a good test.”
“It must seem like a lifetime for our fans since we played West Brom on the last game of last season, so they will be looking forward to coming and seeing one or two of the new guys.”
“I am certain that they’ll see at least 90 per cent of the new players for most of the game.” “It is obvious that, playing Arsenal the week after, you have to start putting your side on the pitch you think might start that game.
“I am sure Arsenal will be doing the same thing. It is not as if it is a secret, we will be putting out a strong team.”
It will be good to see all the new players this afternoon in action, and to see how they have melded in with the team.
Joey Barton is not in the squad and will still probably leave Newcastle, with Wigan Athletic the latest club said to be interested in him.
It’s good to hear the rest of the lads have been upbeat this week, and now we look for a good performance this afternoon, and a win.