Club Focus – Newcastle – Magpies hope for home improvements

Newcastle return to Premier League action at the weekend with a home game against Wigan Athletic. With the Magpies having slipped down the league table after two consecutive 2-1 defeats a home victory is much needed to re-ignite their season. Newcastle currently lie 15th in the table with their opponents Wigan immediately above them after seven games. So far this season the Magpies’ biggest problems have been at home as they have suffered two surprise defeats in three of their home games. This could lead to Chris Hughton making some changes to either personnel or formation to bring about a change in the club’s fortunes. Midfielder Danny Guthrie may be re-called to the squad for the Wigan game after missing the start of the season through injury. There is plenty of competition in central defence with Mike Williamson, Fabricio Coloccini and Sol Campbell all competing for the two positions. Coloccini has recovered from the groin injury that he suffered in the first half against Manchester City.

The biggest news over the past week has been star striker Andy Carroll signing a five year contract to commit himself to his boyhood club. Following an impressive start to the new season Carroll has been linked with numerous clubs in the media as well as being touted for a maiden international call-up. Although an England call-up did not materialise he remains one of the hottest prospects in the country. The 21 year old has had two weeks to recover from a virus that ruled him out of starting the Manchester City game and he is likely to return to leading the line on Saturday. After signing a new contract he said: “All I have ever wanted to do is play for Newcastle United. That’s been the case since I was a teenager playing for the juniors and reserves, and it’s still the same now. Every time I pull on the black and white shirt – and even more so now that I have the number nine on my back – it means the world to me, so to be able to do that for the next five years is brilliant.” Carroll may have an opportunity to make his international bow in a friendly with France next month. Coach Fabio Capello has admitted he will give some of the Under-21 regulars an opportunity to impress in the friendly. However he warned Carroll he will have to be playing regular first team football to get a chance to shine. The Italian said: “He has to play. The last game, he didn’t.”

Meanwhile another striker could be set to depart Newcastle in the near future. Spanish misfit Xisco has made just two substitute appearances this season and now finds himself well down the pecking order in attack. The £5.7 million has been banned for the past three games after getting sent off in a reserve team outing. Hughton is contemplating letting him go out on loan to get some first team football. He said: “With regards to a loan, he’s one that we’re continuing to assess. It is a matter of progress with him and sometimes first-team football is what helps you there, so it’s a possibility.”

Related posts