Newcastle United have never won at the Britannia Stadium, and of course last season we went down 4-0, as the side collapsed early in the second half.
Cheick Tiote – in action against Arsenal earlier this season
So the fact we have never ever won at the Britannia Stadium has to be an incentive for our lads to try to get all 3 points tonight, although it will be a very tough and physical game, as it always is when you play the Potters under manager Tony Pulis.
Newcastle’s top midfielder Cheick Tiote is a doubt tonight because of the knee injury he picked up against Wigan, and we have a feeling that Danny Guthrie will continue in central midfield, after his excellent performance last Wednesday at Blackburn.
Cheick Tiote is very popular on Tyneside, and it’s small wonder with the Ivorian supporting five brothers and three sisters back at home, with the wages he earns playing for Newcastle.
And he has said more than once, to anybody who will listen to him, that he wants to stay on Tyneside to play his football, although the news that Manchester United want him in January, is a worrying story that doesn’t seem to be going away.
The Ivory Coast international thinks it will be a tough game tonight:
“Stoke is a tough game for us and it will be a bit like the Wigan game. We have to do what we did in the Wigan game and keep going even though they will make it tough, and when we get a chance we have to take it.”
“We want to be remembered as a team. And if we want to push for the top half of the league, we have to stay together as a unit.”
“Finishing in the top five or six is only achieved by having a team spirit. We have spoken about it in the dressing room and feel we can achieve a good position this season.”
One thing that Alan Pardew has been really successful at in his short time at the Newcastle club is to hammer into the players that the team is the most important thing, rather than individuals, and the players will live or die depending on how the team performs – so to speak.
So Newcastle now have a team ethic which is plain for all to see, and their team spirit is the best it’s been in a long long time at Newcastle.
It’s a tough game tonight at the Britannia Stadium, but the last thing we want to see, after going unbeaten for so long, is a second successive defeat, because that will allow the doom and gloomers to come out again, and they’ve been quiet for a while now.
That’s the last thing we want to see, and anything but a defeat tonight will see Newcastle in 3rd place in the Premier League. 😀
That cannot be bad.