After Newcastle’s first defeat at Blackburn Rovers Newcastle manager Alan Pardew is wondering how his troops will react tonight at the Britannia Stadium in Stoke.
Ben Arfa – could get another start tonight
Assistant Manager John Carver has said a few times this season, that the real test of the side will be when things start going against them, and we’ll then see what character this team really possesses.
The start to the season was good for Newcastle, because we had the rub of the green in many of those early games, but we didn’t at Blackburn last week, although the side was nowhere near their best either.
Pardew took some blame himself for the 4-0 defeat at Stoke last March, and he said he didn’t set up how Newcastle should have played very well, and he concentrated too much on the way Stoke would come at Newcastle.
The side collapsed shortly after the break to go from 1-0 down to 3-0 down just four minutes into the second half, as they conceded two sloppy goals.
This is what Alan had to say to the local press today:
“I don’t really know how they’ll react to defeat because that winning Gaël Givet goal came so late, and even then we had a good chance with 20 seconds left through Colo.
“There’s obviously a resilience in this team, that’s a given and we take that to Stoke. We don’t want to get beaten in the league so we’ll be fighting for our lives again.”
“It’s just about getting my head around Stoke. It’s a different type of game, the pitch is narrow, the grass is long and they put you under enormous pressure.”
“We had a terrible day there last year, I had to take some fault – I set the team up to combat their style rather than focus on our own.”
“It’s on the back of a defeat – and I can’t say it was a disappointing defeat, because there are things that went very, very right in the game.”
Ben Arfa could get another start tonight, because Leon Best has tonsillitis and will not play, but Steven Taylor will be back in the side wearing his new mask.
There’s also a doubt about Cheick Tiote and his knee, with Danny Guthrie available if the Ivory Coast International cannot make the game.
Anything but a defeat tonight would be a good result for Newcastle, and then we’d be in third position in the league come 10:00 pm local time tonight.