Newcastle United have a chance to put things right with their fans, when they meet local rivals Sunderland on Sunday.
Coloccini challenges Beardsley at Stevenage
The chance is to recover from the game at Stevenage last Saturday, when most of Newcastle’s players didn’t look too awake in the game, and for once in a very long time, they didn’t seem to want to fight to preserve their place in the FA Cup.
Unfortunately, the KO time next week is at 12:00pm on Sunday, so we’ll just have to hope the players are wide awake before the they take on Sunderland.
A defeat at Sunderland would be very hard to take for Newcastle fans, after last Saturday’s disgrace for the club.
Fabricio Coloccini was one of the few players who turned up last Saturday, and he will no doubt start against Sunderland, but Newcastle still have a few players injured, and it’s not known whether Steven Taylor will have recovered from his hamstring, pull for the local lad to line up alongside the Argentine.
Of course top player Cheick Tiote is definitely out because of his three match ban, and the team doesn’t really have a suitable replacement to come in and give the side the energy Cheick always provides.
Sunderland will be wanting to make up for their 5-1 humiliation at St. James’ Park earlier this season, but Fab is not sure whether that will be a real factor on Sunday:
“I don’t know,” “Every derby has a different history. Now we have to write another piece of history for Newcastle United.”
“I enjoy playing in derbies,” “It’s one of the most important games in the season. We seem to play well in the big games this season.”
“I enjoy the competitiveness, and in the week leading up to the game, the people talk to you about how important it is.”
“But I’d prefer it if it would help you to lose that and win seven or eight games. I prefer what’s best for Newcastle United.”
Sunderland are in a similar position as Newcastle, in that they had an ignominious exit out of the FA Cup last Saturday, losing 3-1 at home to Notts County.
And with Blackpool having won 2-0 at the Stadium of Light recently, Sunderland’s home form seems to have gone off the boil is little, although they did hammer Blackburn 3-0 on New Years Day.
Sunderland also have a number of their own injury problems, and it appears that Manchester United loan player Danny Welbeck’s chances of recovering from his hamstring strain are improving, so that’s bad news.
For Newcastle, there are injury doubts over Steven Taylor, Andy Carroll and Shola Ameobi, but it would appear that Jonas Gutierrez and Jose Enrique should be fit enough to play.
This is a big chance for the Newcastle side to get back in the good books of their famous fans – and we have to hope they take it with both feet, so to speak.
Another win would set off huge celebrations on Tyneside.