Newcastle’s form in the first ten minutes or so of our match against Southampton on Sunday was not good, and we went behind after only three minutes to a sloppy goal – from a Newcastle viewpoint – and it turns out we’ve only won two games this season when playing in the league after playing away in the Europa League on the preceding Thursday.
Rob Elliot – it’s difficult after Europa League away games
That was when we beat Norwich City 1-0 after playing at CS Maritimo on the previous Thursday when we drew 0-0 as part of our Group D games.
The next time we have this situation is when we play in Russia at FC Anzhi Makhachkala a week tonight and then host Stoke City on the following Sunday – so we’ll have to be very careful at the beginning of that game.
Goalkeeper Rob Elliot has talked about how difficult it is to play games after traveling for six hours back form the Ukraine last Thursday night, as he had this to say in the Journal today:
“Some of the fans might have been a bit disgruntled with us in the early stages of Sunday’s game, but especially after the long flight to Ukraine, it’s tough.” “We got back at four in the morning and trained the next day. Then you’re playing again on the Sunday for 90 minutes.
“I didn’t play on Thursday and I was struggling, and I play in goal. It is tough but we showed the desire. We know we’ve got a rest until Swansea of six days, so it was a case of winning the game then getting our recovery for Saturday.” “We’ve always said once the Europa League’s done, it’s done and we can concentrate on the Premier League.”
“We did that very well on Sunday. We forgot the Europa League, concentrated on the Premier League and got three points.” “That’s something we may have struggled to do before but with the depth of the squad and the players we’ve brought in, it’s helped us.”
“Southampton were excellent on Sunday and they’ll probably consider themselves a bit unlucky in terms of the play, but I think our strength, determination and power saw us through.”
We were surprised how good Southampton were on Sunday – but they’ve been playing very well over the last couple of months.
It will be important to take all 3 points off Stoke in our game a week on Sunday, because at the moment they are 3 points above us in the league in 10th position and with a better goal difference at the moment.
And of course it doesn’t help that we’ve drawn a Russian side, because that will be another long journey we have to make – which is much harder than saying playing a French or Dutch side – which is just a short air flight away.
But first up is a trip to South Wales on Saturday afternoon when we meet the new Capital One Cup Champions Swansea – and this will also be a tough game.
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