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Getting back to what the managers have been saying though, we start as usual in the black and white corner with Alan Pardew, who had much to say as always. Speaking in a fairly long interview on Talk Sport’s “Matchday Live”, he began by talking about the club’s excellent start to the season, starting on how both the squad and we fans are not getting too “carried away”.
“I don’t see us getting carried away or feeling pleased with ourselves. I think we genuinely know that every game, we have to fight and we have to go to war really, with whichever tactical plan we’ve got.
“I think the expectation of the crowd and the fans is sensible. I don’t see any exterior hysteria coming from them. I think they know where we’re at. We’re just having a really great run and long may it continue.”
Then getting more specifically to the Everton game he continued:
“The most important thing for me is Saturday and I’ll not look beyond that. we could have 50,000, and if we get a draw or a win and go to Man City it would be a hell of an achievement.
Speaking on our home form he then went on:
“I’m fairly happy with our home form, I think we’re going to win. I think that’s a great feeling.
“I might be wrong, but I think that only Everton have beat us this calendar year. So when you rhink about that, it surprised me a little bit to be honest.
“We’ve been strong at home, and if anything that should spur us on, that the team that have beat us is coming back; so we can put that right with a bit of luck on Saturday.”
The manager once known as “Mr.Motivator” after the GMTV fitness guru of the 1990s then tried to get the crowd fired up for the game this afternoon saying:
“What we do need, I know we’re at the stage where we’re going to need our crowd to help us. To have 50,000 there, just actually hit that target would be a real coup for the players and I think they deserve it. I hope we get it, and I hope we put on a performance that warrants it too.
Speaking slightly later in the interview, he then went to look forward to the next run of difficult games, starting with Everton, then paid fulsome praise to his opposite number on Merseyside saying:
“We go into this next run of games, we know that we’re going up the levels here and we’re starting with Everton, probably the best of the rest over the last few years so that would be a nice coup for us. Then we go to the big guns (Man City, Man United and Chelsea).”
As manager’s usually do, he then went on to praise David Moyes, saying of his collegue:
“He’s one of the best managers in the Premier League.”
Pardew then went on to also praise someone who could be something of a dangerman for the Magpies in the game, Everton’s recent signing from Real Madrid, Royston Drenthe. Pardew said of the player:
“We knew of him and I thought it would be a good signing for him (Moyes), and so it’s proved to be. He’s a real quality player. he’s someone we’ll need to watch closely.”
When it was put to him that Everton are a good team on the road, have picked up more points, and conceeded less goals away than at home this season, Pardew then responded:
“I always fear them at Goodison, I think that’s really where they’re strength is if i’m honest. But, you know, you’re talking about a team that can win anywhere, and they’re one of those teams.
“They’ve got some really, really top players, and warriors as well. You need those other sides to your team you know and (Tim) Cahill, and (Phil) Jagielka, they’ve got their fair share of warriors so there’s no way they’re not going to be rolling over at our place.
“They’re coming here to win and we have to respect that. They have been the best of the rest and in one year got in the Champion’s League (2005), phenomenal for a team with the budget he had at the time.”
After going back to the state of affairs in the Premiership in general with “sovereign states” and “the biggest hitters” from America and Asia bringing their considerable wealth to the division, he than spoke of how outside that charmed circle at the very top, he didn’t see that the Premiership had changed all that much. He than added that realistically, he was aiming for Newcastle to be at the “top of that pile,” like Everton have in recent years. Finally, he outlined how determination, organisation and grasping things when they fall our way had helped the team to acheive that so far. Then returning to this afternoon’s opposition he went on:
“The one thing Everton have always done, and David Moyes in particular, he keeps his team in the game. It’s very rarely they get beat by three or four. If they get beat, it’s always one goal; and my teams, I try to be like that, stay in the game, and I think it will be a very tight affair.”
He then concluded:
“One goal will decide it, if it gets decided at all.”
The full audio version of that interview is here.
Finally from the Magpie corner, in another pre match interview, Pardew spoke of the loss of flying Frenchman, Gabriel Obertan, from the squad for this game, and possibly the two after that with the winger feeling somewhat under the weather.
Pardew said of his loss:
“Obertan’s pace is a real asset to us because you can put teams on the backfoot.”
“Unfortunately he has picked up an infection and I think he will miss Saturday, he might even miss the next two games.”
Meanwhile, over at Everton, the more reticent David Moyes had more measured words of praise for Pardew, acknowledging Newcastle United’s “great” start to this season and the good job Pardew has done so far.
He said of the Magpies:
“They have had a great start and have got themselves into a great position near the top of the table.”
Moving on to the Silver Supremo himself Moyes then added:
“I am sure Alan Pardew behind it all would have said first and foremost, always be a Premier League club, and then see where we go from there.
“They have not got enough points just yet but they are right at the top of the league and are probably thinking about doing much better and considering even getting into one of those European spots.
“But Newcastle has always been a really big club and Alan Pardew has done a good job. He maybe wasn’t everyone’s choice when he went in there but he has done it steadily and has won a lot of football matches.”
Well that just about wraps up my round up of what the managers have been saying, except of course to add:
Howay the Lads!