Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Away the Lads ... Can Magpies Maintain Road Form?

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Away the Lads ... Can Magpies Maintain Road Form?

Article excerpt

IT CAN be argued that the soaring Magpies have played their most entertaining football across the Tyne Bridge heading away from home base.

Results have been restricted to 1-0 over the last three Premier League games at St James' Park, close and a real concerted effort required, whereas on their travels United can counter-attack using their considerable pace when available in terms of players' fitness.

I feel that Manchester City away in the Capital One Cup was the perfect blueprint for Newcastle, the perfect display utilising the maximum ability of their talents.

Newcastle pitch for their sixth successive Premier League victory - their seventh in all competitions - at West Ham tomorrow, which is sensational given their depressing start. It's a topsy-turvy world.

Who would have thought, for example, back in the summer months that with Christmas approaching Southampton would be second, United fifth and West Ham sixth, while Arsenal would be as low as eighth, Spurs 10th and Liverpool 12th. The cart is before the horse.

While it's true that goals win matches, here is a significant fact: Newcastle have gone 432 minutes without conceding a goal, having shipped 14 in six games before the recent winning run. That's the back door slammed shut and bolted.

A team has every chance when defending so resolutely, not just the back four and keeper but by pressing high up the field. Energy is the key as well as discipline.

Injuries have been unkind to the Mags, but Alan Pardew tells us that Lady Luck's icy grip has been loosened somewhat, which is a relief.

The Hammers have, of course, those who once served us and who now wish to burst a six-match winning run - manager Sam Allardyce, club skipper Kevin Nolan and Geordie firebrand Andy Carroll.

Danger lurks behind their collective challenge, of course, more so than when Joey Barton similarly tried to inflict damage. …

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