Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

United Need to Rock Blackpool

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

United Need to Rock Blackpool

Article excerpt

Byline: John Gibson

THEY may have the same points as United, but Geordies like to think there is a class gap the size of Robbie Coltrane's girth between them.

After all, the Mags dismantled Blackpool 4-1 on the same St James' Park pitch last season during the charge towards the Championship title.

Even Blackpool boss Ian Holloway, the man who launched a thousand quips, believes it will be mightily tough tomorrow.

He reckons the best way to stop Andy Carroll is to "step on his hair" and admits with a disarming smile that "we have to improve big time" on the last hour and a half of combat between the pair.

This from a boss who cheerily faces reality with the request: "We are going to have our backs against the wall quite a lot so I want our supporters to think 'oh my God my goalie has caught a cross' and burst into massive support."

The Seasiders underlined his reasons for such original thinking when they went to Latvia during the international break and lost 2-1 to local champions FK Jelgava, though in the interests of accuracy they had eight guys away representing their countries.

The difference between the two clubs, apart from the size of their home crowds, is that while Chris Hughton has signed five hand-picked imports this summer Holloway has taken a shopping trolley round Poundstretcher and loaded it with 11 players cheap enough to be on the bargain shelves.

If Newcastle shocked the soccer world by beating Aston Villa 6-0 in their only home gig to date then Blackpool did likewise when winning 4-0 at Wigan, so both have a landmark match to boost morale.

Nevertheless, United must target three points and nothing less should they wish to survive their Premier League baptism with some ease.

The biggest danger to Newcastle will be themselves if they are suckered by Holloway's entertaining patter after a decent start to their campaign. …

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