The game tomorrow against Stoke City is a massive game for at east a couple of reasons – one is that we are still not safe from relegation and we need the 3 points to move away from the relegation zone, and the second is that a win will set the mood and help to get a big crowd at St. James’ Park for the our second leg of the Europa League tie against Anzhi Makhachkala on Thursday night.
James Perch with Willian in close attendance on Thursday
I may be the only one, but I was very surprised to see James Perch line up alongside Yanga-Mbiwa on Thursday night in Moscow, and yet James had an excellent game against some world-class forwards – so saying he did really well is an understatement.
But it’s important for Newcastle to win tomorrow, and yes – it’s about playing well – but we also have to ensure the win, because we played very well at Swansea, especially in that second half, and yet we came away at the end of the game with nothing.
Here’s what James Perch said today:
““If we can beat Stoke on Sunday then that will be an ideal preparation to face Anzhi again.” “We need a massive result against Stoke to go into the second leg and a win would make our league position look a lot more secure.”
“It was brilliant to get a clean sheet against Anzhi, bearing in mind they have some attacking players who are world-class.” “We fought really well for everything and we handled pretty much everything they could throw at us. Now we are ready for Stoke.”
We expect Steven Taylor and Yanga-Mbiwa to start the game on Sunday, but at worst James will be on the bench, and after his display on Thursday night, he is likely to get some playing time in the second half.
And James is a great example of a player who has an excellent attitude and trains hard every day, and even though his ability is limited, he’s made himself a valuable Newcastle player over these last two years.
Great credit goes to the man for that.
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org