It was certainly a massive relief for everybody associated with Newcastle when we managed to win our first league game of the season on Sunday at home to Norwich – after it was touch and go until halfway through the second half when Aleksandar Mitrovic brilliantly volleyed the ball home.
And of course he was brilliantly set up by Moussa Sissoko, who had three assists in the game and that was the first time since 1994 that a Newcastle player has had three assists in a game.
Aleksandar Mitrovic after scoring Newcastle’s fourth goal
And it was not unlike Kevin Keegan’s team used to play in the 1990s with great attacking flair, some great goals – and yes – some weak defending too.
The lads are back in training today getting ready for the vital game on Sunday against Sunderland and Paul has said they will prepare like the way they did over the International break and make sure every player knows what their job is in all parts of the pitch.
This is some of what Paul has said on nufcTV today:
“Sunday was a relief for everybody.” “When I say everybody I am going to be selfish and say us as staff, then the players but also, massively, the supporters as well.”
“They’ve turned up in numbers week in, week out and made some incredible journeys from the North East and not got the rewards.” “It was wonderful to see them enjoying it on Sunday.”
“We have all come back into work to start preparing for the next one, which we all know is a big one.” “It’s a local derby.” “But as far as we’re concerned it’s the next one that we want to get three points out of.”
When we watched the latest edition of Magpies 24/7 from last week we saw Kevin Mbabu looked to be doing OK in training.
The good news from Paul Simpson today is that 20 year-old Kevin Mbabu and 19 year-old Rolando Aaron are both in full training this week and will get a full week’s training in before Sunday.
We’d like to see Kevin start at left back but we think McClaren will play Geordie boy Paul Dummett at the start of the derby game.
There are Sadio Haidara, Paul Dummett and Kevin Mbabu all fighting for that left back spot at Newcastle now.
It’s good that competition for places is starting to heat up at Newcastle – that’s always a good thing.