If Newcastle can get a good run going in the FA Cup this season, he is willing to field a weakened side in the league in order to increase Newcastle’s chances of winning the FA Cup.
Alan Pardew – prioritized FA Cup at West Ham
And apparently he did that before when he was manager at West Ham.
West Ham came within a minute or two of winning that final over Liverpool at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff back in 2006, until Steven Gerrard equalized in the first minute of injury time to make it 3-3, and West Ham eventually lost out on penalties after no goals were scored in extra time.
Alan talked about that today to the local press:
“I actually did field a weakened team and got huge criticism at West Ham when we played Spurs,” “We were due to play Middlesbrough after a Saturday game and I rested six or seven players and Spurs beat us handsomely.”
“I was not too popular in the East End at the time but then we won and I was popular. So I would consider it. It is all about prioritising what is important.”
“Obviously the teams in the relegation zone and in and around the bottom of the Premier League, I sympathise with them when the FA Cup comes around.”
“In that situation, your status and the financial impact is such that you have to focus on the league. You have to adjust to where you are as well. Horses for courses.”
“I just think it is the second biggest competition we can win, the biggest is the league and the chances of us winning that with the funds we have against some of the top clubs makes if very very difficult.”
“I would not say impossible but very very difficult. The Cup levels the playing field and gives us an opportunity of winning a trophy and getting into Europe.”
“If players from whatever country, cannot grasp that, then it is my job that they do. So I will stress the importance of this competition.”
Obviously Newcastle now want to qualify for Europe this season, whichever way we can.
It seems that all Newcastle players know the importance of the FA Cup, and therefore also the importance of today’s game, which kick-off at 5:15 pm at the Amex Stadium in Brighton.
It’s our first game since the second half at Fulham last Saturday, so we are hoping to seee a good performance from the Newcastle team in the first half, and that they keep that up over the full 90 minutes this afternoon.
If the lads can do that then we should be in the hat for the 5th round draw.