Pardew Starts The Mind Games With Sunderland – They’re Favorites

It’s kind of hard to think too much  about the game after next – even through it is against local rivals Sunderland – because first things first, and Newcastle have a vital home match tonight against Benfica,  that we have to  somehow navigate through first.

alan pardew serious

Alan Pardew – Sunderland are slight favorites

Alan was asked about the Sunderland game in yesterday’s press conference for tonight’s game, and he thought  Sunderland were slight favorites because we have a game a few days before the derby game.

Alan was asked whether having the Benfica game in the week before meeting Sunderland was helpful to him (no way) – and this is what the Newcastle manager said, probably with tongue in cheek:

“I don’t think so.” “I think it’s a disadvantage for us. To play Thursday night, and their management here to watch us go through a really tough game, is what I would want as an opposing manager.”

“I think Sunderland will be slight favorites for that game. Having said that, it’s all about Benfica for now.” “We’ll see where we are after the game.”

“It’s like anything else – you’re going to have ups and downs when you come to a new club.” “The more experience you get in this division, the more you get used to it.”

“It’s a learning experience for them, but they’re doing well.”

Newcastle have not done well at all on the road this season, although we should have won the game at the Stadium of Light in October, if Cheick Tiote hadn’t got himself sent off in the first half, when we were winning 1-0 and looking very comfortable.

And if Newcastle can win the game on Sunday, it will start to look difficult for Sunderland, and we’ll be 8 points ahead of them – whereas a Sunderland win (heaven forbid) will take us back to fighting against relegation.

A draw will be in Newcastle’s favor, since we’ll still be 5 points above the Black Cats, and Sunderland need wins to get away from the relegation zone..

But the main thing today is the game tonight – obviously, and Sunderland can wait until tomorrow – but the good news is we’ll have Ben Arfa, Mathieu Debuchy and Cheick Tiote ready to come in fresh for the Sunderland game and start – and that will help.

Even Steven Taylor may be available, but we’re not sure if he can recover before Sunday, from the knock he got on his knee yesterday morning in training.

We hope so – it’s always good to have a Geordie in the team against Sunderland.

Comments welcome.

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.

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18 comments so far

  • TorqToon

    Apr 11, 2013 at 10:07 AM

    Comment #1

    Butterflies kicking in now.

    Massive week for the boys and I believe we can get 2 wins!!!

    (Ever the optimist, me!) 🙂

  • Ibizatoon - Back By Popular Demand

    Apr 11, 2013 at 10:12 AM

    Comment #2

    Torq…Two winnable games for sure. Two huge games as well.

    Can’t wait.

  • Spoof

    Apr 11, 2013 at 10:13 AM

    Comment #3

    I think Pardew is playing a lot of mind games, it wouldn’t suprise me if Taylor is as fit as a fiddle and ends up playing a blinder tonight

  • Ibizatoon - Back By Popular Demand

    Apr 11, 2013 at 10:14 AM

    Comment #4

    Spoof…Could well be. Be interesting to see who he chooses tonight. Big call.

  • Spoof

    Apr 11, 2013 at 10:16 AM

    Comment #5

    I don’t know about can’t wait, I just wish they were over with, my nerves are shot to threads, the suspense is killing me.

  • Edd Case

    Apr 11, 2013 at 10:17 AM

    Comment #6

    I think we will win tonight…BUT…

    I also think Benfica will score and we’ll end up going out.

    Think we can win 2-1…hoping for 3-0 of course!


  • Spoof

    Apr 11, 2013 at 10:18 AM

    Comment #7

    Its a massive call Ibiza, but I hope he plays as strong a side as possible, no holding back for Sunderland, we should be setting our sites higher than just beating a tinpot club like Sunderland, Benfica is the bigger of the teo games for me

  • TorqToon

    Apr 11, 2013 at 10:20 AM

    Comment #8

    Ibiza – Winable games indeed!

    Not many better sides than Benfica about at the minute, but we always do things the hard way.

    So why not beat an unbeaten side?!

  • Ibizatoon - Back By Popular Demand

    Apr 11, 2013 at 10:21 AM

    Comment #9

    Spoof…It’s hard, as under normal circumstances I don’t think anyone would disagree, I mean it’s Sunderland ffs. But a win against them and we’re all but done in the league this season which is why it’s carrying extra importance.

    I’d still like to see us go all out tonight though. Keep Shola fresh for Sunday and don’t let Tiote anywhere near the mackems and we should be sorted.

    Plus, aren’t Sunderland, who are already sh*te, missing their “key players”? 🙂

  • Ibizatoon - Back By Popular Demand

    Apr 11, 2013 at 10:22 AM

    Comment #10

    Torq…All runs must come to an end and we do like to be dramatic.

  • Spoof

    Apr 11, 2013 at 10:26 AM

    Comment #11

    Ibiza, do Sunderland have any key players ?, sorry I couldn’t resist, you are right of course, but momentum is a wonderful thing in fooball, if we get through tonight the only tired legs at 1.30pm on Sunday will be the Sunderland legs, we have put a lot of effort into the Europa league this season, if we go out with a wimper that would be draining for the lads

  • Markaccus

    Apr 11, 2013 at 10:27 AM

    Comment #12

    If benfica put the game beyond us before half time then get the key players off and rested for sunderland. No point in chasing shadows and being knacked for sunday for nothing. Our run in is a bit dodgy since the easier teams are all away games for us. Id still expect 4 more points from our run in. Even if its 4 draws.

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Apr 11, 2013 at 10:27 AM

    Comment #13

    I agree with Pardew. I would make the Mackems slight favourites – only because watching the Fulham game – we were dead on feet in the last 10 – 15 minutes and if we pick up any more injuries wil make things even tougher.

  • Ibizatoon - Back By Popular Demand

    Apr 11, 2013 at 10:27 AM

    Comment #14

    Spoof…It was said seriously tongue in cheek 🙂

    Right lads, catch you later for game time lads!!!

  • Markaccus

    Apr 11, 2013 at 10:30 AM

    Comment #15

    Take care ibiza. Might catch you later if my nerves allow me to type during the game

  • TorqToon

    Apr 11, 2013 at 10:34 AM

    Comment #16

    Very true Ibiza.

    I’m flying in today just for the game and flying back tomorrow for the St. Etienne game.

    The things I do for my club. Anybody know if it’s a sell out at SJP? I assume and hope so!!

  • toontillidie

    Apr 11, 2013 at 11:30 AM

    Comment #17

    gonna be a tough game tonight and tbh i cant see us winning it by 2 goals and keeping a clean sheet but however it dont hurt to believe there is a chance

  • neilinho

    Apr 11, 2013 at 11:50 AM

    Comment #18

    Torq, can i ask a question mate? i’m a long time reader and very occasional poster.


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