Once the January transfer window is over, Alan Pardew and the Newcastle Board will concentrate on getting some of our players signed up to new contracts.
Danny Simpson – dreams of winning the FA Cup
One of those players is former Manchester United full-back Danny Simpson, whose contract runs out in 18 months time, and he seems keen to stay on Tyneside.
Although if you believe the local news, he’s turned down a number of contract offers from Newcastle already.
Newcastle play Brighton & Hove Albion in the late kick-off game today on the south coast, and Danny has talked about the FA Cup today.
It’s obvious that’s one of the topics of discussion the lads will have had in their January summer break at Tenerife in the Canary Islands last week, after the defeat at Fulham.
Fulham are now out of the FA Cup after they went down 2-1 to Everton at Goodison Park last night, so let’s hope we fare better today, than the team that ripped us apart in that second half in our last game.
This is what Danny told the local press today:
“I am English and I know what the FA Cup means,” “I have watched it since I was a boy. It is still a buzz. We try and tell the foreign lads, but they might not know what the FA Cup means as much as us. We tell them.”
“I went to the final where Man United lost on penalties to Arsenal. I went to another one, where they beat Millwall. They were both at Cardiff.”
“The FA Cup means a lot and I am looking forward to winning today and hopefully going a long way.” “It is a massive tournament. Every English lad as a kid growing up watches the final and you dream about going to Wembley and winning it.”
“I am no different now. I have an opportunity.” “I am playing in a great team and we have to believe we can go there.” “Everyone wants a medal, no matter who you are – especially in the FA Cup.”
“It would be a massive achievement for the lads, the manager and the club. It would probably be a dream come true for the fans.” “The Cup is a one-off. You need a bit of luck as well and we think we can have a good run.”
Newcastle are well positioned to have a good run in the FA Cup and if we can get through tonight we’ll have won two rounds of the Cyp since Demba B has been away at the African Cup of Nations, and of course we now have Papiss Cisse up front too.
Those are two players who can help us greatly if we can progress in the Cup tonight, and the two strikers will play their final qualifying game tomorrow night against Libya and then fly home to Newcastle, after Senegal failed to qualify for the knock-out rounds.
They may be available for the Premier League game at Blackburn on Wednesday night.
And Cheick Tiote and the Ivory Coast are doing nicely after they beat Burkina Faso 2-0 on Thursday night in their second qualifying game in Group B they have won.
And we heard this morning that Alan Pardew will prioritize the FA Cup over the Premier League in order to have Newcastle win their first trophy since we won the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup back in 1969, when Bobby Moncur was the captain.
Danny talked about that:
“That is something you get from the manager as well.” “He knows how important it is and the feeling of getting to the final, because he was within minutes of winning it as a manager (with West Ham United in 2006).
“He will pass on his experience of the tournament and we will take that on board.” “We feel we were quite close to glory in the Carling Cup and we were disappointed to lose that game to Blackburn Rovers.”
“We want to have a good cup run. We have the players to do it and the momentum.” “It is going to be tough at Brighton but if we perform like we can we are looking forward to being in the hat for the next round and having a good run.”
We hope Newcastle can get the job done tonight, and if so we’ll be well positioned in both the Premier League and the FA Cup.
And compared to the sides in European competition Newcastle don’t have a lot of games left – 16 games to play in the league and then four FA Cup games if we reach the FA Cup final – so you wonder why we couldn’t field our best side in nearly all those games.
But with our current side, Newcastle must stand a decent chance of going far in the FA Cup this season, and even winning it – because with our best side out we can give any team in the competition a good game these days.