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Sheff Wed will pull no punches on Boxing Day!

Posted on December 25th, 2009 | 4 Comments |

The Owls, predator or prey?
The Owls, predator or prey?
We’re top of the league, they’re third bottom and have one point from the last six games and have lost five out of their last six home games. So tomorrow’s televised Boxing Day game against Sheff Wed should be a walkover, right? Aye, not likely, not when you consider the last time Newcastle won on Boxing Day away from home was in 1988 at, you guessed it, Hillsborough. Although I concede that conversely that might be a good omen in itself. Glass half-full and all that…

Boxing Day is notoriously bad for Newcastle fans, but it didn’t prevent the early sell-out of 5,300 officially allocated tickets. And it’s sure to not stop several hundred, if not thousand, travelling down to fill up the home sections, after the report that it’s only going be about a third full to capacity in a stadium full of tradition, if not the bumper crowds Sheff Wed would always pull in, in the past.

And in terms of looking back at the history between the two clubs, in games over the last 20 years or so, we’ve won ten, drawn five and lost two against The Owls. So with recent form alongside, we should be fairly confident of a technical knockout, but we could easily get a sucker-punch because we’re being beamed out on Sky Sports. And caretaker boss Sean McAuley, shouldn’t need to motivate his players, as the prospect of toppling the league leaders live on telly and in front of a big crowd should be incentive enough, so they will be looking to get us on the ropes early on.

In the blue and white corner, McAuley should be able to call on ex-mackem, Micky Gray following injury in a season that has seen him as one of the better performers in a struggling squad, but another former mackem, Tommy Miller, won’t be ready in time for tomorrow’s game. Wednesday sites, suggest McAuley could mix-up starting eleven following the disappointing 2-0 defeat at home to Swansea. Etienne Esajas, Frank Simek, Richard Hinds and Francis Jeffers will all be pushing for a starting place, with the latter the most likely to get the nod in attack.

As far as we’re concerned, it seems that we’re hopeful of a return to fitness for Smudger after recovering from an ankle injury in the game against the smogs. Another ankle injury for Shola Ameobi shouldn’t prevent him taking part, although Andy Carroll is also available for selection again after missing the smogs match through suspension. Though we have the Derby game on Monday, Danny Simpson and Marlon Harewood could feature for the last time with their loan stints at the club about to come to an end. But Toon fans seem much more hopeful that the former will stick around a little longer, and more appear to accept that Harewood should also get an extension.

Yours truly won’t be making it to this one but my ‘esteemed colleague’, toonsy, will be in attendance and probably some other contributors, so I’m hoping you lot have a good day out. I’ll be sitting with my feet up in the warmth of the living room and watching it on the box with a couple of beers. Speaking of beer, the bairn has just dropped off to sleep, so that’s me done on here and off for some more beers. Good evening ladies and gents of the blog, hope you all had a good one, seconds out!

NUFCBlog Author: bowburnmag bowburnmag has written 234 articles on this blog.

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4 Responses

  1. Shola’s ankle is playing up again and can’t be risked too much in the coming weeks. As such, we need the experience of Harewood up front, especially as he is hungry for goals recently. This means we need to try and extend the loan deal if possible. Same applies to Danny Simpson, as if we lose him, we have Ryan Taylor as sole right back with Steven Taylor to cover.

    If we can extend those two loan deals and get another left back and centre back in on loan in January, I really think we should be covered for the first team – especially if we remember the youngsters. I really think those 4 loan deals plus faith in some of the better young players should be enough to carry us through.

    Has any team ever managed to be relegated from the Premiership and get instant promotion without spending one penny to get back? Hell, with all the player sales, this relegation has almost been profitable, lol.

    It has to be a first time ever situation.

  2. sheff wed wont score today , i predict 2-0 to toon …

    by the way lads 26 degrees in nz , lamb kebabs for christmas dinner they were lovely , then went for a swim at the beach in browns bay , not quite whitley bay in december like ….

    up the toon in 2010 ktf …………..

  3. Right, im just about to set off for Hillsborough. No pitch insoection due so it looks like the game is pretty safe and not goining to balled off – I’ll put 5live on in the car just to make sure!

    wickywoowoo – I’ll reserve my promotion judgement until the January transfer window slams shut! Everything we’ve heard, and the right thing to do by all accounts, points towards Ashley wanting the club to get promoted and keeping the squad we have together to giv us the best chance. However, while Mike Ashley has been doing things right for a few months now (ie, keeping his gob shut and not interfering), we’ll soon enough know the real plans this guy has if player start going out of the door in January.

    Reet, petrol – got, tabs – got, 2 x 4 packs of energy drink needed! See you guys later, and hopefully with 3 points in the bag! At this point i’ll say i would be happy with 4 points out of the next 2 games. Granted, they are against teams that are struggling right now so it should be 6 points in the bag, but this is Newcastle and we never make things easy for ourselves :D

    Catch you all later.