If there ever was a crucial game it’s tomorrow against QPR, and Newcastle will go into this home game trying to get their second win in the last 12 games in all competitions, and as far as the league goes try to get all 3 points after losing six of our last seven league games.
And the opponents tomorrow languished at the bottom of the league with only 4 points from their first 13 games until Mark Hughes was fired and Harry Redknapp and his team took over the management at the London club – and in their first four games in charge they have three draws and got their first win of the season last Saturday at home to Fulham – so 6 points from 4 games is not too bad at all.
So Newcastle don’t meet QPR at a particularly good time, since they will be full of confidence from the start they have made under Redknapp, but on the other hand if Newcastle are to get away from the danger of relegation, we have to start winning games, and against mediocre teams at home draws will not be good enough.
Newcastle have lost three of the last four league games at home, broken only by the good 3-0 win over Wigan, although we had help in that game after Wigan were reduced to 10 men after only 12 minutes.
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew is only too well aware of the dangers of losing too many games, and the kind of losing mentality that builds in players when they lose too many times.
The only way out of this is for our players to dig in and fight like crazy for every ball tomorrow, and play out the full 90 minutes whatever the score may be – and get a win that will help us move up the league table.
Guts and team spirit are very important traits when teams are fighting to get away from the relegation zone – and we hope to see that in droves tomorrow from the Newcastle players.
As far as injuries go, James Perch is a slight doubt with a neck injury – it’s a pain in the neck – so he should be OK tomorrow – and at long last Gabby Obertan is fit from his toe injury, and we think the French U21 International will see some playing time, with Ben Arfa still being out injured with his hamstring problems.
Shola Ameobi is pushing for a first team place to replace Papiss Cisse, but this is the side we think Alan Pardew will start in this crucial game for Newcastle in a 4-3-3 formation:
Simpson Coloccini Williamson Santon
Tiote Anita Gutierrez
Obertan Ba Cisse
Subs: Elliot Tavernier Bigirimana, Marveaux Ferguson Perch Ameobi (Sh)
Alan Pardew may think it’s too soon to start Gabby on the right of an attacking front three, but we have to go at QPR tomorrow from the very first whistle – and try to score goals to win the game.
Over the last six league games QPR have three draws and a win and 6 points, which is 3 points better than Newcastle, who have one win and five defeats – so it’s time for Newcastle to break out of this terrible losing streak and actually get a win and all three points tomorrow afternoon.
The keys for Newcastle tomorrow are that the defense plays solidly and doesn’t give away soft goals as we’ve done over the last several games – so concentration and solid play are necessary from the back five.
In this game last season Newcastle won 1-0, with a goal from Leon Best and that was Mark Hughes first game in charge of QPR, after Neil Warnock had been sacked – but he didn’t last the year out as QPR manager.
And the last time QPR beat Newcastle was way back in 1995, so we hope that streak of not losing to the London team in 17 years is not broken tomorrow.
Alan Pardew said in his news conference yesterday that the team has enough skill to get past this bad spell, and even if the very worst happens tomorrow and lose again, he still thinks we can start climbing the league table as the season progresses.
We hope the manager is right, but let’s not make it more difficult for ourselves with yet another defeat – let’s get back on the winning track tomorrow – and we need all Newcastle players to step up to the plate against QPR.
Let us know how you think the game will go tomorrow.
Howay The Lads!!