Oppositions' View: Newcastle United (Home)
Struggling Newcastle United are set to make the long trip south to the Britannia Stadium to try and stop their current poor form after a hat-trick of defeats. Vital Stoke Editor Lloyd Reddin has travelled north to pose some pre-match questions to Vital Newcastle`s Editor Mark Robson.
1. Since Alan Pardew has signed his mammoth contract at St James` Park, you have had a poor run; do you think this in the main factor behind your poor run of late?
Basically, No. We have had a poor run on the back of not investing in the summer on positions that we are stupidly light in, plus a bit of bad luck plus injury
2. Mike Ashley has failed to be out of the press since his purchase on the club, what is your opinion on your owner?
He's a gambler plain and simple. He has to be admired for some of the job he's done but other things are a complete joke. The fact that he/they think that we can cut corners in regards to recruitments on the hope that we can replicate last year's form is laughable.
3. Do you think you are suffering a European hangover? What are your expectations in the Europa League?
Our smallish squad has suffered from the extra Euro games as it affects the build up to a league game. My expectations are that we will go out in the knockout round because we're not taking it serious which is another joke considering we strived for it in the first place.
4. What were your expectations for this season? And have they now changed?
I expected to be competing for top 6 and although we're not a fickle bunch, the way we are playing, we have to concentrate on survival first and then see where we can get. The 'R' word is starting to be banded about, such has been our form.
5. Who would you say is your danger man?
Can't really say anyone but Ba. but I have a feeling that Coloccini will score tomorrow for some reason.
6. What would you say are your strengths as a team?
Based on recent form. NONE... but I suppose a strength could be that we come out all guns blazing to right a few wrongs and prove everyone wrong including our own fans.
7. What would you say are your weaknesses as a team?
Confidence is the biggest weakness at this time coupled with the wrong tactics, formation. The fact that we have the likes of Cabaye and Ben Arfa out. We go a goal down tomorrow and that fighting spirit just isn't there like last year.
8. How do you feel about your manager?
He does get a fair bit of blame for the owners reluctance to strengthen and he does talk some shite but overall, he's done ok. His pedigree for having a second season syndrome which leaves teams in relegation bother is playing on our minds at present but the sooner we get a win, he sooner he can feel less heat.
9. Which player (s) do you fear from the Stoke City side?
Probably Crouch, if he's playing
10. Is there any Stoke players you would like to add to your squad?
Ryan Shawcross would do alright for us i reckon.
11. How do you think Stoke will do this season?
I see you as a mid table side, so i reckon about 10th. The FA cup may see some joy as anyone can win that.
12. What is your likely line-up for the match?
I predict this weakened line up
Simpson, Coloccini, Williamson, Santon
Marveaux, Jonas, Ba
13. Finally, what`s your score prediction for the match?
Can't see past a Stoke win unless we somehow upset the odds.
Thanks to Mark for taking the time to answer these questions.