Rafa Benitez will be instructing his players to stay cool during what promises to be a white-hot derby encounter at St. James’ Park on Sunday against Sunderland, who have won the last six derby games, including the one at the Stadium of Light 3-0, earlier this season.
That´s when Coloccini was sent off for a foul on Fletcher just before half time that was deemed to be a penalty and it gave Sunderland a huge break in the game after Newcastle had been dominant in the first half.
If was a bad mistake by the referee in that game to send Colo off and the red card was rescinded on appeal, but that didn´t help – the damage had already been done.
Jack Colback – we have to make our own luck
During the game (yet) another wild tackle from Lee Cattermole resulted in former Sunderland midfielder Jack Colback having to leave the pitch with an injury, so the local lad will hope to see the game through this time around.
Jack talked about the game today on the BBC:
“We have got a few reasons why we have to come away with a positive result.” “The fact we’ve lost six in a row – it’s not good enough – and the position in the table.”
“It’ll be built up as a huge game.” “You have to try to keep your cool, stay relaxed, but in the same sense realise the situation and what it means to us, the fans and the club.”
“We’ll be focusing on doing that this week.”
“I’ve been in a similar position with Sunderland when we were seven or eight points away, we had some horrific games and we managed to pull it off.”
“So this is nothing really. We can get out of it.” “It looks grim when you look at the bottom three.” “But a few wins and you get out of it.”
“We have teams around us where it’s hugely important we show our character and show our fight.”“We have to take our responsibility as players and get positive results.”
“At this stage of the season you are scrapping for points and they’re the games that are really tough to win.” “But we know we have to do that, it’s in our own hands.”
“We’re only a point off getting out of the bottom three so we have to focus on taking the points around us.”
“We have to rely on our home games to get us through, we know they’re going to be tricky.” “We have to improve. The new manager has come in and is trying to get his ideas across.”
“We have to follow them the best we can.” “He obviously brings a vast amount of experience so we have to listen what he says.”
“Hopefully that will be enough to get us out of where we are.” “We aren’t getting any luck but we need to create our own.”
“We’ll analyse the game at Leicester, move on from it and focus on a huge game on Sunday.”
Jack will probably have to play at left back again with our two injury prone left backs – Paul Dummett and Sadio Haidara – both unavailable through injury.
That´s one position that must be strengthened in the summer whether we remain a Premier League club or not.
Sunday is a fantastic opportunity for Newcastle to beat Sunderland on Rafa´s home debut at St. James’ Park and we have to break the embarrassing six game losing streak against the Black Cats.
Only a string of wins in these last nine games can save us now.