Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has talked about the passion that is St. James’ Park, and he is hoping that the crowd will be a big factor in allowing Newcastle to somehow get through this quarter final against Benfica, after being 3-1 down from the first game in Lisbon last Thursday.
Cisse and Pardew after sensational late winner on Sunday
With Newcastle winning in the last minute on Sunday against Fulham, Wigan equalizing in the last seconds of stoppage tome against QPR on Sunday, and Borussia Dortmund somehow scoring the two goals necessary to beat Malaga in stoppage time on Tuesday night in Dortmund, then Alan thinks anything is possible tonight, however late in the game it gets.
This is what he told the local press, and he talked about the passion of the Newcastle fans:
“I have visited big clubs in the past and the home team have negativity from the fans in terms of expectation. Here it is more of hope than expectation.”
“They are willing you to succeed. There are no negative feelings. They have stayed with us and been brilliant for us. It’s just the sheer passion of this place and the fans showed that on Sunday when you look at the picture with them and Papiss.”
“Not many clubs get that feeling and we owe so much to our supporters.” “A full house is everything, as Dortmund proved the other night – the crowd can influence proceedings.”
“Sunday was a special occasion as we were all nervous and apprehensive about that fixture, so to win in the last minute was special. Our fans were a key part of that, because the atmosphere they generated helped push Fulham deeper and deeper.”
“In terms of the opposition, there have not been many better sides played here than Benfica. They have a slightly different style to Premier League teams and are a real threat on the counter-attack.
“The game could get away from us, so we have to give ourselves the chance to be still in it towards end.”
That last sentence is accurate – the game will get away from us if Benfica score an early goal or goals, because then we’d need to score four goals to win the thing if Benifca go ahead 1-0 – and of course they are very good at scoring goals.
They have 68 goals in 25 league games in Portugal, so job one is to stop them scoring – and then job two is to somehow come up with two goals – and our best chance is to win this game 2-0 and we are through.
And there will be some scenes after the game tonight if Newcastle can get to the semi-finals of the Europa League..
Howay The Lads!!
Note: For those attending Thursday’s game (and Sunday too) please bring your scarves to the the game, as there is an effort to recreate the atmosphere at Alan Shearer’s testimonial, and hopefully inspire our lads to two famous wins.
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org