We have tow away games at Southampton tomorrow and then Stoke City on Wednesday and then Wigan at home next Monday night, and all three opposing sides are currently below Newcastle in the league table, so normally we would expect a good number of points from those games.
Alan Pardew - in happier times on Tyneside
But we have lost some key players to injury and suspension, and the Magpies are hardly playing anywhere near their best form right now.
And Newcastle fans are not too happy at the moment, after a string of uninspiring performances that have seen the team slump to 12th position in the league table, and we had only 21,632 at the game against Maritimo on Thursday night, which was the smallest crowd at St. James’ Park since Pardew arrived almost two years ago.
The Newcastle manager is hoping his team can give the travelling fans something to cheer about in tomorrow’s game, against second bottom Southampton:
“This is a long one for them.” “I thank them for Thursday because they got behind us. I just feel sorry for them in the last 20 minutes.” “Maybe it was the result or a little bit of complacency. But we’ll look to put that right.”
“I think this is a key week. We have Southampton, Stoke then Wigan.” “On paper if we had everybody available you’d like think we’d win two or three of them. But we know we have a battle on our hands.” “It doesn’t mean to say we can’t do it.”
“Papiss should be OK. He had a kick on the thigh. If he has a warm-up at Southampton he should be fine.”
Hatem Ben Arfa, Fabricio Coloccini, Shola Ameobi and Yohan Cabaye will all miss the game tomorrow for various reasons, but some good news is that Colo will be back for the Stoke City game, after he’s served his three match suspension, and of course Papiss Cisse is fit to play tomorrow, after limping off against Maritimo on Thursday night.
We don’t have our best team out tomorrow, but the lads in the black and white stripes have to give it all over the next few games, so that we don’t make things even worse than they are right now.
A win tomorrow would be simply fantastic, and would help the process of turning things around at Newcastle.
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org