History is against Newcastle United when we take on Benfica on Thursday night at St. James’ Park, and not many sides can come back from a two goal deficit from the first leg of a Europa League tie, and get through to the next round.
Great shot of Newcastle manager Alan Pardew
And the Newcastle manager has been made aware of the stats, and had this to say in the local papers today:
“It’s only been done twice, I’m told.” “Steaua Bucharest and Fulham, ironically. We’ll see what we can do.”
And Alan is again warning the Newcastle fans that we cannot go gung-ho against a side as good as Benfica.
This is what Alan said about the important upcoming game against the Portuguese league leaders:
“Our fans need to understand on Thursday, in the quarter-final of the Europa League, that if we go gung-ho looking for two quick goals, we’re just going to get killed.”
“They’ve got real quality on the break.” “We’ve got to be very intelligent and we’ve got to be patient.” “We know what we’re like at the end of games.” “We just need to get ourselves in a good position.
“If we can get a goal with 20 minutes to go, we can do it – that’s the agenda for me.” “Sunday takes care of itself. We know what it’s about.” “I’d rather not have the game this week.”
“But then would I rather have the quarter-final of the Europa League? Yes, I would.”“We could have a marvelous week.”
Patience will be the key, and Papiss Cisse has said today Newcastle will be going all out for an early goal, but if the score is 0-0 after say 75 minutes, we still have a good chance.
And two goals in those last 15 minutes will see us through – and the roof will have to be repaired again before the Sunderland game.
But Newcastle’s biggest challenge will be to keep the Benfica attack in check – because if they score a goal, it will be very difficult for us to qualify for the semi-finals.
But after what happened on Sunday – anything is possible at St. James’ Park on Thursday night.
What do you think?
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org