We suppose Newcastle can still make something of this season, if we can start climbing the league table soon, and put together some good runs in the FA Cup and the Europa League, but our main target is to make sure we are still in the Premier League next season, and that we don’t have to fight a relegation battle through May.
We play at Brighton this afternoon in the 3rd round of the FA Cup , and that’s where we lost last January in the 4th round, when an own goal from Mike Williamson after 76 minutes, put us out, although we played a solid game that day, and were just a little unlucky to come out with a loss.
But Newcastle are getting too used to losing at the moment, and we hope we don’t have yet another loss on the books today, and of course we’ve won only two games of the last 12 played in the league, and lost nine of those.
Brighton are doing quite well in the Championship this season, and are currently in 9th place with 37 points, and just 3 points of a play-off position, and the Seagulls will be a tough test this afternoon, but to be truthful most games are tough tests for Newcastle these days, as we continue in a terrible slump with lots of our top players missing.
Alan Pardew will give one or two of his youngsters a game today, and will rest some of the big names – but he cannot rest too many because our available player list is not very long.
21 year-old defender Paul Dummett has returned to Newcastle at the end of his loan spell with Scottish Premier League side St. Mirren, and Paul included in Alan Pardew’s squad, and it wouldn’t surprise us if Paul gets a game today.
The Newcastle born youngster performed well in Scotland, and played 19 times and scored two goals, and today is a good chance for Alan Pardew to see how much this lad has advanced during his successful loan spell north of the border.
Newcastle’s injury list is long, and Ivory Coast International Cheick Tiote is unavailable, and he’s gone off to the African Cup of Nations in South Africa.
Top striker Papiss Cisse and captain Fabricio Coloccini did not travel with the squad, and they are recovering from slight knocks.
Danny Simpson (broken toe), Jonas Gutierrez (knee), Steven Taylor (hamstring), Hatem Ben Arfa (hamstring), Yohan Cabaye (groin), Dan Gosling (ankle), Ryan Taylor (knee) and Haris Vuckic (knee) are also not available for this game, and Mathieu Debuchy did not travel for the game.
This is a possible side Alan Pardew could field this afternoon against Brighton:
Dummett Perch Williamson Ferguson
Anita Bigirimana Marveaux
Obertan Ameobi (Sh) Ameobi (Sa)
Subs: Elliot Santon Tavernier Streete Abeid Amalfitano Campbell
It was hard to fill out the bench, given so many players are unavailable for this game and I almost had to put myself as a sub. 😀
Alan Pardew will want to win this game and this is what he said about the FA Cup today:
“It’s a glamorous, fantastic competition. You’ve only got to look at my history with the FA Cup to know how I feel about it. I was brought up on it so it’s very part of the fabric of the football person that I am. Unfortunately I’ve had bad luck in this competition so far and I want that to change at Brighton.”
Brighton manager Gus Poyet paid tribute to our club – which is nice to hear these days, with Demba Ba and Alex Ferguson talking about Newcastle not bring a big club:
“They are a fantastic club and every time I’ve played against them, especially in the North-East, the atmosphere is unbelievable. I was lucky enough to have the chance to score a few goals against them, so my relationship with the Newcastle fans is probably a little bit of hate from them, but I’m sure that they like me as well.”
Alan Pardew will be going for the win today – if only to remind his players what it’s like to win a game.
We’ll take anything but a defeat today, but a win would help the confidence of our players big time.
Let us know how you think the game will go today:
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org