Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Hughton Aims for Nine out of Nine

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Hughton Aims for Nine out of Nine

Article excerpt

Byline: Stuart Rayner

CHRIS Hughton has promised Newcastle United will be going all out for a win in all of their last nine games - because they can not afford to do anything else.

And he will be looking for them to repeat the all-action start to their last home game to carry the St James's Park crowd with them against Arsenal tomorrow.

Given their poor recent record against the top four - no wins since February 2007 - United might have been tempted to play for draws against Arsenal and Chelsea, had their next two home games come earlier in the campaign.

But, buoyed by their performance against Manchester United, and backed into a corner by their perilous league position, caretaker manager Hughton is adamant the Magpies will go into both on the front foot.

"We have to go for the win," he said. "If that sees us get a draw, it's a better philosophy than going for a draw and getting less than that. The one to deal with is the next game.

"We have to approach it the way we did our last home game, an evening game against a similar quality of opposition in Manchester United. We have to approach it that way." Hughton hopes to have Joey Barton fit for the last five games of the season but having drawn too many matches this term, United can not wait to start picking up wins. Hughton wants his team to be as positive as possible to capitalise on home advantage.

In their last St James's game, the Magpies shocked Manchester United when Peter Lovenkrands breached a hitherto impenetrable defence to give his side a ninth-minute lead.

A more composed finish from Obafemi Martins could have doubled it.

The home crowd responded with noisy backing, raising hopes of a shock result against the title favourites. It proved a false dawn, Sir Alex Ferguson's men winning 2-1, but was an important indication of what Newcastle are capable of when they are united.

"The nature of games at any club is you have to generate the support," argued Hughton, whose team have drawn 11 Premier League games this season, more than anyone else. …

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