Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

United Urged Not to Revert to Stereotype; Let's Not Revert to 'Typical' Newcastle, Says Head Coach

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

United Urged Not to Revert to Stereotype; Let's Not Revert to 'Typical' Newcastle, Says Head Coach

Article excerpt

Byline: Chris Waugh Sports Writer @CHRISDHWAUGH

STEVE McClaren has warned his players not to fall into the 'typical' Newcastle United trap of following impressive back-toback wins by losing at home to struggling Aston Villa.

The Magpies beat Liverpool at St James' Park a fortnight ago before coming from behind for the first time in almost a year to bring all three points back from White Hart Lane last weekend.

In both those matches Newcastle sat back early on, grew into the game before coming on strong in the second half - though that is not likely to be the case against Villa. They will be expected to take the initiative, and McClaren insists the players have been briefed on that.

When asked if he feared that the Magpies would fall into their 'typical' poor trait of losing at home to a side they are expected to beat after two brilliant wins, McClaren (pictured left) responded: "So everyone keeps telling me this week.

"The players have heard it, we have heard it and I think we have got the message loud and clear.

"We will do everything to try to avoid that.

"All you can do is prepare and give yourselves the best possible chance to win and that is what we have done.

"The Villa game is Turn to Page 75 FROM BACK PAGE an opportunity and a challenge for the players to say that is not going to happen.

"But there is no doubt, we are facing a very, very dangerous Villa team who have got individuals who are capable of winning football matches.

"This is a game that is totally different from the last two we have had. A different pressure.

"But the players have shown over the last two games - Liverpool was massive for them and they handled it very well and Tottenham away was a little less pressure but they came through that. This is another test and we will pass it if we are ready. If we don't, then we are not ready."

An animosity has developed between Newcastle and Villa fans ever since that infamous day at Villa Park in May 2009 when the home supporters celebrated when the Magpies were relegated.

A section of the Magpies faithful have never forgotten that, and McClaren hopes for the same passionate support United received against Liverpool when they host Villa.

He added: "I have heard that, yeah (that there is animosity). That was six, seven years ago but if it still goes on and gets the crowd from the first whistle in a fighting mood, then great.

"The crowd against Liverpool ... bang!

"I kind of knew when I came to the stadium that we were going to get a good reaction not just from the players but the fans too.

"They (the fans) don't realise how important and significant they are in terms of performance of the players and especially here and what has happened.

"The expectations are totally different, but here the crowd are a huge influence. …

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