Heaven or Hull?
Cue the first of our proverbial ten cup finals. As we head down the road to play mackem Brown`s Hull side, our Premier League status remains very much in the balance. Whilst the patter from the camp seems positive enough, the mood from the terraces is very much mixed.
Confidence in 'Coach Chris` and 'Coach Colin` remains lower than that in Joe Kinnear, as the strength from the alleged leaders seems totally absent. With that in mind it looks like our best hope is likely to come from those on the pitch and tomorrow`s game sees the return of captain Michael Owen. Whilst symbolic, it seems to normally take our number 10 a few games to bed himself back in, so I wouldn`t be expecting miracles from him straight away.
Newcastle look set to have an embarrassment of riches to choose from, in comparison to even a month ago. Kevin Nolan and Danny Guthrie miss out through suspension and injury whilst Damien Duff and Nicky Butt return to the squad along with Owen. Barton, Beye, Gonzalez and Xisco remain longer term absentees. On a side note, the biggest wastrel ever to wear an NUFC shirt, Viduka, remains missing with no explanation. Still - only ten games left before we see the end of that leech.
Hull remain our bogey team so far this season. Our previous visit to the KC in the cup saw a shocking 0-0 bore draw whilst they did us 2-1 and 1-0 at SJP. A totally mundane side, managed by possibly the biggest tosser in the Premier League, would be a welcome scalp. The game should see the return of one of their stars of the season, Andy Dawson, but Marney remains out.
Again there can be no further emphasis on just how important this game is. Of the ten, this has to be earmarked as one of the most winnable games, probably the most winnable away from home. The last thing we want to see is one of the usual capitulations we offered at Blackburn and Bolton already in 2009. Howay lads, time to kick on.