What was missed a little yesterday was the draw for the 4th round of the Carling Cup, when Newcastle were drawn away, for the third time running, this time to Blackburn Rovers.
Things are looking up at Newcastle under Alan Pardew
And while we could have had a home draw against a lower league side, Newcastle could also have picked one of the top sides away, so we’re not grumbling too much about the draw.
Blackburn are a better side at home than they are on the road, but they are still nowhere near the team they were until last November, when the owners fired former Newcastle boss Sam Allardyce, and Rovers are again 3rd bottom of the league, after Newcastle beat them 3-1 yesterday.
Newcastle will now travel to to Ewood Park in the last week of October, and the lads must have a decent chance of progressing to the quarter final draw with a win.
And we shouldn’t play our second team either, but rather than make 9 changes like Alan did last Tuesday night at Nottingham Forest, Pardew could make say four changes.
And then in the following league game at Stoke City on Monday night, 31st October – Halloween – the manager could give chances to another four or five players – so over those two games all the fringe players still get a game.
Indeed, with Newcastle not playing until the following Monday night, they will have a couple more days to recover from the Carling Cup game, which is an advantage.
This is what Alan Pardew said about the draw today:
“It’s a shame it’s away but we want games. These players want to play and it’s a tough game,” “We could have been drawn against one of the top clubs, who are all still in it, away from home so it’s not the worst draw we could have had but its still a tough draw.”
“I think Blackburn will be hurting from the defeat and that will make it even more difficult.” “It’s a trophy I’ve never done well in. Ironically I’ve got a decent record in cup competitions and play-off finals and what have you,” he said.
“I’ve never had a run in the League Cup as a player or manager. It’s a trophy that hasn’t brought me much luck, I’ve lost a few penalty shoot-outs here and there.” “You need a bit of luck when you’re on a cup run and we’ve had a bit of luck so far. So that’s buoyed me a little bit.”
“My priority hasn’t changed because the Premier League is too difficult to suddenly say ‘We’ll concentrate on the Carling Cup instead and we’ll be OK for the Premier League at the weekend’.”
“You’ve got to focus and these games are all cup finals for us.” “We’re still at that stage.” “It’s a nice distraction and I can see the lads are already getting excited about it.”
Newcastle must have a very decent chance of reaching the last eight of the Carling Cup against Blackburn, and we should go all out to get through to the quarter finals.
And who knows, we could get a home draw against a weak side and find ourselves in the semi-finals, but we have to first beat Blackburn.
What team would you play at Blackburn?