Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Storming of the Palace Must Be Success

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Storming of the Palace Must Be Success

Article excerpt

Byline: By John Gibson

It is Crystal clear what is required on a visit to the Palace tomorrow ( and it is not forlock-tugging acceptance of whatever comes along.

It is sleeves rolled up, chests puffed out and a head-on battle for an hour and a half to emerge victorious.

Newcastle ( three successive Premier League defeats on the clout ( must prove their highly-paid and pampered superstars are superior to those engaged in what will be a season long scrap against relegation.

A black period covering 15 days has seen United lose to Bolton (1-2) and Fulham (1-4) as well as Chelsea (0-2) and Manchester United (1-3).

The last two reverses may, just may, be understandable to the Toon Army even if they confirm our worst fears of big-time failure, but defeats against Bolton and Fulham are most certainly not.

A poor away record in the Premiership hangs like an albatross round the neck but Palace have little more to offer than plenty of guts and a decent striker in Andy Johnson.

Togetherness is the main hope of Iain Dowie's bunch of willing mongrels but Newcastle would still take them lightly at their peril. I hope, after the trepidation of recent results, that will not be a problem.

United must do the simple things at the back effectively, be switched on and concentrating for the full run of the game. In midfield they must use the full width of the pitch instead of playing narrow with three strikers who run into one another's space.

If skipper Alan Shearer is to be used to his full potential and not rendered a frustrated bystander then he must have crosses from the wings whether delivered by an overlapping full-back or the midfield wide men.

Players playing out of position, be it Craig Bellamy as a winger, Lee Bowyer as a winger, or Andy O'Brien as a right-back, rarely excel consistently.

Newcastle haven't been making full use of all the pitch and it has been a problem during the reign of both Sir Bobby Robson and Graeme Souness. …

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