The mid-season break in Tenerife in Spain’s Canary Islands ends today.
John Carver and Alan Pardew
The lads have been recharging their batteries in the sunshine, and are getting ready for the last four months of the season, which will decide how well Newcastle do in the Premier League and in the FA Cup, and whether Newcastle can again qualify for Europe.
Alan was on BBC Newcastle yesterday and he wants to make sure his players have the hunger for success, which he thought was missing in the second half against Fulham on Saturday, and the squad have talked about that this week.
This is what Alan said:
“The hunger is something I am trying to drive. Some of the younger players have not been this close before to where we are going,”
”Shola Ameobi is one of the exceptions but it is important to get the message across that we have a fantastic opportunity here and we cannot let it go.”
“I can sense in the squad they see an opportunity. We are just going to try and play the best football we can to try and take it.”
“The second half at Fulham disappointed me a bit in terms of the hunger, in terms of getting it back. We discussed that.”
“I said all along if we can get to seven or eight games to go and be sixth or seventh or whatever, we have a great opportunity.”
“We still have some distance to get there so we have this period of the season which is very, very important.” “When you get near the end the finishing line is in sight and everyone focuses.”
“The better teams get better in that period – it is very rare Manchester United will lose in that period, or someone else going for the title.”
“When you are in good form that period gets easier, it is the period where there is not a finishing line in sight that is difficult. You just have to keep in there.”
“The better teams have the experience to do that. If we had had more experience at Fulham we would have won, no doubt about that.”
“We kind of just slipped up there and that us the sort of thing we have to be on our guard against.”
It was a disappointment on Saturday, no doubt about it, but it was only one game and a maximum 3 points lost.
But other top teams are faltering, and they include both Liverpool and Arsenal who are the teams directly below and above Newcastle in the league right now.
Newcastle have an excellent chance of finishing in 7th place in the league, because we are 6 points ahead of Stoke with a much better goal difference, so that’s essentially 7 points clear of Stoke.
And with any luck and some good form from Newcastle, the lads could even finish above Liverpool and Arsenal and in a very high 5th place, which will give us automatic qualification into the Europa League.
That sounds really good to us, and we have hardly even mentioned the FA Cup.