On Saturday 17th December in the next batch of games, when we will play 9 league games and one cup game in a short 43 games from November 20th – we will play at one of the smallest grounds we’ve played at for some time when we visit Burton Albion.
Small clubs like Burton Albion are the life-blood of the English game and they are against managed by Nigel Clough who was player-manager there for 10 years from 1998.
And then Clough returned to Burton Albion for a second spell as manager only last December, after Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink left to manage Queen’s Park Rangers.
The Pirelli Stadium – Burton Albion
In the last two years Burton have moved from Football League Two with two successive promotions to reach the Championship and Newcastle United, after we were relegated from the Premier League last season.
Burton Albion – The Brewers (what else?) – were founded in 1950 and play at The Pirelli Stadium which has a stated capability of 6,912, but only 2,034 are seated.
So when Newcastle play there the Geordie fans will occupy the East Stand – around 1,400 standing fans and also we will get 400 seats in the main stand.
Nigel Clough – Burton Albion manager
This will be a big game for Burton and the visit of a second big club this season, after they hosted Liverpool in the EFL Cup back in August, but lost 5-0 to Jurgen Klopp’s side.
And now Rafa Benitez and Newcastle will arrive and after our very tough game at Rotherham United, when we got through a very tough game 1-0 at the New York Studium, few fans think this will be an easy game and certainly not Rafa Benitez.
Rafa has said his job is to coach the team and he doesn’t care if it’s a huge club or a small club he’s up against, his job is to work out some way to win the game and he fully respects every single opponent.
That’s one reason he’s been such a successful manager and he will fully respect Burton Albion and their success over the last two years.
And it’s great for Burton Albion to hopefully have a sell-out crowd and a visiting manager who has won three European titles so far in his career.
It will be a unique and novel game for Newcastle fans, who are looking forward to the trip, but also a tough one – and that’s a credit to The Brewers.