If Newcastle are going to stand any chance of reaching the semi-finals of the Europa League – and also picking up enough points to avoid the drop in the Premier League, the side will have to play so much better than we did on Saturday at Manchester City – where we were simply torn to shreds by a much superior team.
Alan Pardew – owes fans after terrible performance last time out
But Alan Pardew has said in a number of interviews since that disaster, that whatever side he puts out on Thursday night will play a lot better than on Saturday.
We hope so.
This is what Alan Pardew told the local press today:
“It’s one of the great European adventures, trust me.” “Their stadium is going to be rocking on Thursday night – and after our result they will be looking forward to us coming.”
“But we will certainly be better than we were on Saturday.” “We’ve already seen off one of the best teams in the competition.” “You have to say we have been dogged in the Europa League.”
“We haven’t given in. The crowd have got involved.” “There are three English teams left and three good English teams.” “We didn’t want to get them because for our fans it is about the European experience.”
“To draw a domestic side is tough.” “But as I say we’ve already put out one of the favorites in Anzhi. They are as good as Man United or Man City or Chelsea. We have to be confident.”
3,500 Newcastle fans are travelling out for the game in Lisbon, which is a beautiful city, and we hoep they can have something to be happy about at the end fo the game.
This is our biggest European game since we were in the quarter finals against another Lisbon side – Sporting Lisbon, back in April of 2005, and we won the first leg 1-0 at home and were 1-0 up in the second leg in Portugal, but lost it 4-1 and were eliminated.
In the season before, in May of 2004, Bobby Robson had us in the semi-finals against Marseilles, and we lost 2-0 in France with two goals from Didier Drogba, after drawing the first leg 0-0.
So we’ll see how the lads perform in Lisbon this time around – but after that – we just have to beat Fulham at home on Sunday afternoon to get some points in the Premier League.
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org