Newcastle have reached the fifth round of the FA Cup for the first time since 2006. That season turned out to be a very good one in retrospect.
In Alan Shearer’s final season, Newcastle were able to reach 7th after finishing on a 7 game unbeaten run under Glenn Roeder, who had replaced Graeme Souness in February.
We also defeated Southampton at St James Park to reach the sixth round of the FA Cup, where the run ended in a 1-0 defeat at Chelsea.
Former Newcastle midfielder Lee Clark was also a part of that team, and he too retired after that campaign. Lee played in the third and fourth round of the FA Cup that year and was an unused substitute in the fifth round.
In his column in Tribal Football, the Blyth Spartans manager spoke about Newcastle’s latest cup run:
I was doing my prep work before the initial first-game against Oxford United, and I was shocked to find out that I played in the last team that got beyond the fourth round. I’ve only been retired since 2006! That was a big shock for me.
But to be fair to Steve, he said when he first came through the door that he was going to take the cup competitions seriously, and his selections have proved that. They’ve found it tough going against both Rochdale and Oxford.
The win over Oxford was a ding-dong cup-tie, some terrific goals in the game. Now they go to West Bromwich Albion, and Slaven Bilic has got more than one eye on getting promotion.
I don’t think the FA Cup is a massive priority for them. I think getting back to the Premier League is the key. So even though it is an away match and you prefer to play at home, I think it is a great opportunity for Newcastle to progress again and that would be brilliant.
West Brom are currently top of the Championship and can add to their one point lead over Leeds at Millwall on Sunday. According to a report in the Chronicle, Lee Clark is correct in his assertion that West Brom are concentrating on promotion over an FA Cup run.
The Chronicle have cited sources from West Brom that Slaven Bilic will continue his heavy rotation policy for the fifth round cup-tie against Newcastle on the 3rd of March.
The Baggies made eight changes for their fourth round win at West Ham. The Chronicle expects to see that continue against Newcastle where Bilic will have some fringe players and youngsters in the mix.
West Brom play Wigan Athletic on the Saturday before the FA Cup and then travel to face Freddie Woodman and Swansea on the following Saturday. Those could be the matches that West Brom are most interested in that week.
So Newcastle could again have an outstanding chance of advancing in the FA Cup this year.