On January 20th it was the day after we were beaten by Reading 2-1 at St. James’ Park, and then a few days later top striker target Loic Remy decided he preferred to play for QPR rather than Newcastle, and at that time – all Newcastle fans were thinking about was to get some players in that could save us from relegation – and stop that sinking feeling – we were 2 points above the drop zone.
Moussa Sissoko – this man has made a huge difference at Newcastle
Fast forward aroundt eight weeks, and Newcastle are 9 points above the drop after having won four of the six league games played since the Reading loss, and we are through to the last 16 of the Europa League after beating Metalist Kharkiv, and we drew our first leg against Anzhi 0-0 in Moscow last week.
So tonight we could go though to the Europa League quarter finals with a win, but the manager and some of the players are even thinking we coan even win the Europa League this season.
This is what Alan Pardew said in the local papers today.
“We’ve had a tough season so it’d be nice for the fans to think of the possibility that we could win this trophy. I think we can, I genuinely do. I’ve seen the other teams and I see no reason that we can’t.”
“You need a few things to drop for you, the example was Tuesday night when AC Milan had the chance on 42 minutes.” “If that chance goes in, suddenly that result is not what it was this morning. You need those little slices of luck to go your ways, but I’ve looked at the other teams left and we can win it.”
“We’ve got enough quality and enough players fit. Whereas in the past, in the FA Cup and League Cup this year, we had to put out sides that weren’t good enough for this club. This side is good enough to win the trophy and we hope to prove that. We know we’re up against some good opposition this time.”
“It’s a strange one for Anzhi I’m sure they would like the Moscow stadium full to put extra pressure on players to play to a high level.” . “It might be that our crowd inspires them, but on the other hand they could intimidate them.”
“It’s up to us to keep the level of attacks to get the crowd going to unleash the kind of noise and atmosphere that no team can deal with.”
We hope we get a big crowd at the game tonight – and first things first – we hope we can get a win and then we’re through to the quarter final draw – which would be terrific.
And then we have to take Wigan apart on Sunday afternoon.
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org