McGinn’s comments were preceded by Callum Wilson’s own statements made when the Magpie forward spoke at The Footballer’s Football Podcast before last weekend’s game.
Asked about an “on-fire” Aston Villa, Wilson told the hosts that Newcastle will “let Aston Villa know the fire brigade are in town,” adding that “it looks like we will have to put the fire out.”
In response, McGinn said that he “didn’t notice that,” and later added wood to the fire (pun intended) by saying that “like a lot of emergency services at the minute, the fire brigade must have been on strike.”
Obviously, Wilson's comments were related to Newcastle’s hot pace leading up to Saturday’s clash with Villa. The Magpies entered the weekend boasting a five-game winning streak in which they had scored a combined 13 goals. Seven of those came just a week before the matchup with Aston Villa when Newcastle scored five against West Ham and then a couple in a come-from-behind win at Brentford.
The victory by Aston Villa put them in sixth place with 50 points through 31 games, and just six points shy of Newcastle (4th, 56 points, with a game in hand).
“We need to be almost perfect to get European football and we would maybe need to be 100 percent to get [to the Champions League],” said McGinn about trumping Newcastle on the table. “It is important to make sure the group does not get too carried away,” he added.
McGinn pointed how that when he joined Aston Villa five years ago, the owners had barely taken over the club and that they are now entering the phase that probably “they had envisaged a year or two ago.” It is a remarkably similar situation to those of players in the Magpies organization after the Saudi Arabia-backed board took over back in Oct. 2021.
“It doesn’t work like that. It’s a really tough league but you can see the potential this club has got,” said McGinn. “The atmosphere inside the stadium is great. It’s special to be here, but we need to deliver.”
You can tell me those are the words of any Newcastle player and I’d believe you.
McGinn finished his remarks by saying that Villa players “wish we were in Newcastle’s position,” although he acknowledged that they’re not “because of the start of the season,” and the firing/hiring of Steven Gerrard and Unai Emery to properly reroute their campaign and make a run at European football. “We’ve given ourselves a great chance to kick on.”