Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Gutierrez Is Confident Magpies Can Rule at the Britannia Again

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Gutierrez Is Confident Magpies Can Rule at the Britannia Again

Article excerpt

TOMORROW Newcastle United face one of the toughest tests the Premier League can throw up, but Jonas Gutierrez has reminded them they know what is coming - and have shown they can deal with it, writes STUART RAYNER.

Unbeaten at home since February, Stoke City are notoriously hard opponents to overcome at their Britannia Stadium home.

The Magpies go there without one of their first-choice senior centre-backs, although Fabricio Coloccini's return from suspension compensates for Steven Taylor's hamstring strain.

They can also take comfort from recording one of their most remarkable results last season in the Potteries - a 3-1 victory. "When you look at the fixtures at the start of the season you know Stoke are so difficult because of the style of football they play," said Gutierrez, who will hand the captain's armband back to Coloccini there.

"I'm not saying it's wrong or good because everyone has to play their football in the right way to take the points. "Stoke kick a lot of long balls and play a style which gives them a lot of points.

"However, last year we went there and took the three points so we know we can get the three points there again.

"Their set-pieces are so special, so good.

If we concede set pieces we will know what to expect.

"We have to really concentrate for 90 minutes and not concede set pieces, not give silly fouls near the box - and with Stoke the halfway line is near the box!

"We have to be really focused."

Newcastle are without a win in six games, a sequence which includes three consecutive Premier League defeats.

Injuries and suspension are compounding their problems, and Gutierrez believes unity is vital.

He added: "We need to stay together. We know it's been a tough season for us because we've had a lot of injuries and we don't have a big squad. …

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