Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

It's Time United Cured Their Travel Sickness as Two Massive Road Trips Loom

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

It's Time United Cured Their Travel Sickness as Two Massive Road Trips Loom

Article excerpt

IT IS on fields afar that reputations are cemented and the ultimate battle won.

Emerging triumphant on your own midden where up to 43,000 people wear your colours in vocal support is one thing, impressive as it may be. Raiding the house of rivals and pinching their silverware quite another.

So the credentials and burning desire of Newcastle United will be thoroughly examined over five days this week when they visit first Derby County tomorrow night and then Swansea City come Saturday.

The wait for another away victory has been too long and must be ended this week.

Being unbeaten at home is terrific but if the championship of the Championship is to be secured then the number of three-point hauls on their travels must be more than decent.

It is two months and six league and cup matches since Newcastle triumphed beyond the Tyne Bridge, and with West Brom and Nottingham Forest snapping at their heels that is not good enough.

Derby greatly annoyed at Christmas when they came up here and deprived Newcastle of maximum return in a 0-0 draw.

Having ended Forest''s 19-match unbeaten run the last time they entertained, Nigel Clough''s team will be thirsting to claim another big scalp and inflict upon United their first defeat in 16 games.

However, County''s overall form this season has been far from impressive, especially for the secondbest supported club in the Championship after United. Their average gate is a most respectable 29,197 while Newcastle''s is a whopping out of sight 42,273.

Clough''s Derby is not, well, Clough''s Derby. Not dad Brian''s that is, the hero of the County set when meaningful championships were won.

I regularly worked the chat show circuit with Brian and as Gateshead chairman came across against Nigel when he was building his own managerial reputation at Burton Albion.

Very different characters - dad brash and more than occasionally offensive, Nigel very much more quiet and measured.

However, living up to Brian''s reputation as a manager is quite another matter. Brian Clough was a genius, a one off and Nigel can suffer in the eyes of Derby fans by comparison. …

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