Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Expectations Are Sky High, but I'll Be Happy Just to See Toon Stay Up; Survival Is the Priority for First Season Back in Top Flight - Anything on Top of That Will Be Real Bonus

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Expectations Are Sky High, but I'll Be Happy Just to See Toon Stay Up; Survival Is the Priority for First Season Back in Top Flight - Anything on Top of That Will Be Real Bonus

Article excerpt

Byline: LEE RYDER

JOHN BERESFORD is not expecting the Entertainers Mark 2 at St James' Park next season - but he feels the strength of character coming from the Newcastle United locker room can ensure Premier League survival next season.

Bez was part of Kevin Keegan's famous side that rocked the football world back in the 1990s and came within a whisker of nabbing the title from Manchester United.

Keegan has always maintained that had his dream team won the Premier League trophy back then it would have changed the face of the game forever, insisting teams would have to come to St James' and 'outplay us' just to have a sniff of taking three points.

However, Beresford feels that changes in the game and the emergence of the top four superpowers mean that the Premier League is no longer a level playing field, leaving Chris Hughton with the stiffest of tests.

Beresford told the Chronicle: "It's going to be totally different this time - make no mistake about it.

"What the team have achieved has been brilliant and there were a lot of fears when we came down that we wouldn't go back up.

"I worried that teams coming to St James' Park would rise to the occasion and that combined with the fact everybody was on a downer could cost us dearly - but thank God that hasn't happened.

"You only have to look at what has happened down the road at Middlesbrough to see how it can go wrong, and they got their approach totally wrong.

"So for Newcastle to go straight back up is great for us."

Bez is hoping to see a togetherness similar to that shown by the Championship-winning side of 2010.

He said: "I think the siege mentality at the start of the season was the key.

"The players knew they couldn't control anything apart from results on the field.

"Players such as Nicky Butt, Alan Smith and Kevin Nolan did a great job keeping the dressing room together and put their experience and professional pride on the table when it was needed the most. …

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