After getting knocked out of the FA Cup by Sheffield Wednesday (2-1) on Saturday, Newcastle will be back playing another cup game on Tuesday, Jan. 10 when they host Leicester in a Carabao Clash at St James’ Park.
Last weekend sucked.
This week won’t do so much.
Or so we, at CHN, and all other members of the Toon Army think on this very bright Monday that will bring new games and new opportunities for the Magpies to get back to their winning ways.
Truth be told, Newcastle had not dropped a game in more than four months. The last time NUFC hung an L on their list of results was back on the last day of August. Yes, August was it. But with a heavily rotated squad, the flaws emerged and the team just couldn’t do shit against a lower-level squad such as Wednesday’s.
Here’s hoping Howe has learned something, and the board has the willingness (because we all know they have the means) to improve a squad barren of talent outside of their best XI.
Howe took to the microphones and addressed the most pressing questions by the media ahead of the matchup against Leicester to be played at home at SJP on Tuesday, Jan. 10.
Asked about the last-eight clash against Leicester after losing to Wednesday last weekend...
“It’s an opportunity”
“We need to be highly motivated for the game. I am sure we will be.”
“The quarter-final has taken on huge importance for Newcastle.”
‘Psychologically, it would be a great thing for us to get through to a two-legged semi-final.”
“We want to experience that, but we have a very different tough opponent in our way.”
“We have to be more clinical. If we look back at the Leeds game and Saturday, there were too many chances not taken.”
About the fact that the team will be back on the comfy confines of SJP...
“We will need real energy from everyone to get the crowd into the game.”
“We have a lot to be positive about and need to get Saturday out of our system very quickly.”
About the season and the chance to advance to the final stages of the Carabao Cup after getting knocked off the FA Cup...
“The fact it’s earlier in the season, you have a better chance of playing your stronger team.”
“Saturday’s game, the timing, that was difficult because of Tuesday’s upcoming game.”
“It was very quick turnaround on the back of a congested league period. But the Carabao Cup, in the latter stages, now takes on huge importance.”
About the matchup with the Foxes being the most important one of the season played at SJP on top of everything...
“This is the biggest game of our season because it is the next game.”
“It does have a special meaning, we understand that.”
“We need what we have had every home game, a brilliant atmosphere and environment where the team can excel and feel free to give their best.”
About the return of players who missed last Saturday’s game...
“We’ll be going full strength to win the match.”
“It’s an opportunity (to bounce back from Saturday).”
About Allan Saint-Maximin and Callum Wilson, who both missed last game with different problems...
“Allan, I don’t know, we’ll have to wait and see.”
“The game against Wednesday would have been different if Allan Saint-Maximin had played—he had been pencilled in to start at Hillsborough.”
“It was the ideal fixture for Allan to build up his match fitness.”
“I expect Callum to be back.”
About any other potential returns on Tuesday...
“Fingers crossed, Nick Pope and Fabian Schar will also be back.”
Newcastle United resumed their competitive schedule after the World Cup break advancing in the Carabao Cup against Bournemouth, defeating Leicester 3-0 on the road, drawing a couple of games against Leeds and Arsenal, and finally losing their last game against minnow Sheffield Wednesday. That’s what I call a downward trajectory.
Tuesday brings Leicester back to the fixture list under NUFC’s label, only this time at home instead of away from SJP. Considering the Magpies bagged three goals against the Foxes just a few days ago, on the road, we have to assume the firepower will get back on track, right?
It’s Leicester tomorrow, then Fulham next Sunday, Jan. 15, and Crystal Palace on Saturday, Jan. 21 to close the month before a two-week stop after that... if Newcastle fails to qualify for the Carabao Cup semi-finals.
If NUFC defeat Leicester on Tuesday they will be playing the two legs of the Carabao Cup semis on the weeks of Jan. 23 and Jan. 30 with their first game pertaining to next month scheduled to take place on Saturday, Feb. 4.
The Men in Black & White are still determined to lift a trophy this season but the FA Cup won’t be the one. Premier League talk sounds premature. The Carabao Cup, though? Just three more games between where Newcastle are at and a match for cup-lifting rights.
The dreams stay alive for at least 24 more hours.
- Date: Tuesday, January 10th
- Kick-off: 20:00 BST / 15:00 EST / 13:00 PST
- Location: St James’ Park, Newcastle (England)
- Broadcasts: Sportsnet World Now, Sportsnet World, Sportsnet Now, Sportsnet Now Plus (CAN) — ESPN+ (USA) — BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra, Sky Sports Football, Sky Sports Main Event, Sky Ultra HD, SKY GO Extra (UK)
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