Alan Pardew may be torn this week about what side to field against Metlalist Kharkiv on Thursday night, because he must be able to field a top side on the following Sunday at home to Southampton – and ensure the players don’t fall way in the second half, because they are too tired from the game in Europe.
Alan Pardew – we can still get through
We do have a much stronger squad now than we did at the start of January, so Alan may be more willing to go for it – but we cannot lose the game to Southampton , that’s a no-no .
One reason the powers that be at Newcastle keep saying the Premier League is the top priority is because we get £800K for each place climbed in the Premier League, and next season that amount will be even higher, since the new three-year deal for the TV rights of the Premier League is 70% higher than it was over the last three years.
This is what Alan said in the Evening Chronicle today:
“We have to sit down and make sure we get team selection right.” “Southampton is a huge game for us and so is the second leg of this tie. We’re going to have to call that right.” “We know there’s a tail-off of energy from Thursday to Sunday, so we’re going to have to make sure the team’s good enough to get us what we want out there in Ukraine, and also good enough to beat Southampton.”
“They’ve got to beat us to win.” “If we play anything like we did, it’ll be difficult for them.” “We pulled them around and asked them a lot of different questions – there were a lot of good things about us.”
“There were nice introductions from the bench – Shola Ameobi and Sylvain Marveaux made a difference – and that bodes well for the coming games. There’s a lot to think about.” “They players were disappointed. It was tough to take.”
“However, I was so pleased with the performance. It was a top performance against a really good team. We’ll take that away from the game, if nothing else.”
We suppose technically Metalist do not have to beat Newcastle to get through – because we could draw the game 0-0 after extra time, and then lose out on penalties to the Ukrainian side, who looked good at St. James’ Park.
The key to the game for Newcastle is to score a goal and score the first goal if possible – because that would mean Metalist would need to win the game to get through, since a 0-0 score-line would not be possible and a score draw would see Newcastle progress.
That would put pressure on Metalist to have to score two goals to get through the tie – and Newcastle would be in a decent position, especially the way our defense played last Thursday night in keeping a clean sheet.
But it should be a good game on Thursday night, and our lads could still get through.
The game has an early kick-off at 6:00 pm Newcastle time – I’ll have to remember that.
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