Newcastle’s last five results have been very disappointing since the lucky 2-1 win over West Brom, and in those games we drew at Liverpool which was a decent result – drew at Club Brugge after going two goals down, and then we had two home defeats against West Ham and Swansea, and the side could only manage a 1-1 draw against Maritimo on Thursday, who are bottom of Group D in the Europa league with only 3 points.
James Perch - could play some part tomorrow at Southampton
So in the last five games we have suffered two defeats and no wins, and that’s hardly what we expected from those games, and add to that the fact we have lost some top players through injury – the latest ones being French stars Yohan Cabaye and Ben Arfa – and things did not look too good yesterday.
But potentially good news today that Papiss Cisse could be fit to play tomorrow, and Jonas Gutierrez and James Perch are in full training and likely to participate at some stage in tomorrow’s game.
So Newcastle will need to rely on some of the fringe players until the other stars return, and Alan Pardew is buoyed by what happened during the African Cup of Nations last year:
“I look back to last season and remember when the guys were going to the African Nations.” “We looked at the group and thought, ‘Wow’. We were about eighth or something, and we thought, ‘This is the defining part of the season for us’.
“We actually ended up in a stronger position for the boys to come back to, and I’m hoping that is the case again this time. We’re looking to the squad to grind us out a couple of wins in this period, and then the big players will be back.”
Newcastle have slumped in the league table, and we just have to try to pick up points from out next two games at Southampton and Stoke City – so it’s up to the players who are coming in and getting their chance – to take it with both feet – since we cannot afford to sink any lower in the Premier League.
We’ll know by next Thursday, after the game at Southampton and Stoke, whether the fringe players are good enough to get the job done for Newcastle.
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org