Table-topping Toon take on battered Rams!

Posted on December 28th, 2009 | 2 Comments |

Well let’s hope the lads have worked off the excess turkey they were clearly suffering from against Sheff Wed, before they meet The Rams at St James Park Monday evening. Despite our lacklustre performance on Boxing Day, resulting in a 2-2 draw with Sheffield Wednesday, Newcastle United still go into the Derby County game top of the league, a position we will continue to hold going into 2010, regardless of the result against Derby.

Let’s hope Chris Hughton has had the lads training hard today to get the sluggishness out of their systems. Conversely, Nigel Clough won’t be looking forward to taking a patched up Derby County team up to the northeast to meet the league leaders. Clough’s team were booed off as the Rams lost at home to Blackpool on Boxing Day, their second home defeat in a row. He was frustrated with his side against Blackpool and admits he doesn’t know what to expect against Newcastle:

“We seemed incapable of doing the simple things,” said Clough. “We looked very nervous and very short of confidence.”

“The confidence is very fragile and we looked short of ideas. At times we couldn’t pass the ball to a white shirt.”

“We relied on our wide players to create things and I don’t think they put in one useful cross and the back four also struggled.”

On the daunting trip to Newcastle on Monday, Clough added:

“We could go to Newcastle and get a result or we could lose 5-0 – at the moment I’m not sure where my money would be.”

Clough took over the manager’s job from Paul Jewell almost one year ago, and it’s fair to say the local’s are getting more than a little bit restless both with the results, the style of play (hoof-it-up-the-pitch) and the tactics or lack of them on display. Clough joined the Rams following 10 years spent managing non league Burton Albion and some are questioning if he’s bitten off more than he can chew.

Derby have had a lot of injuries, and the American owners are keeping their wallets well and truly shut, so is the current situation a fair reflection of Nigel Clough’s managerial abilities and will he turn it around? Derby currently find themselves in 18th place in the league and many Derby fans are seriously concerned about relegation, which would of course be a nightmare scenario. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that. With their history and an average home attendance of 30,000 Derby deserve to be playing in one of the top two English divisions.

Ironically Luke Varney, scorer of Sheffield Wednesday’s first goal against us is on loan from Derby County and will return there next week. As I mentioned, Derby have an extensve injury list although some players are starting to make their way back. They will still be without left back Dean Moxey usually an ever present who was signed from Exeter City last summer. Moxey has a one match suspension after being sent off against Blackpool, while striker Chris Porter is a doubt with a twisted ankle. Either Hulse or Campbell could start in place of Porter. Miles Addison is still struggling with a foot problem, while Kris Commons could feature for the first time since October.Jake Livermore will play his last game for Derby before ending his loan spell and returning to Tottenham Hotspur, whilst midfielder Paul Green could return having recovered from the flu.

The Rams have been allocated 2,268 tickets which were still on sale until midday today so not sure how many will make their way up North especially as the game is being shown live on Sky, 5.20pm kick off.

Chris Hughton will have Alan Smith back from injury, so hopefully we will just see a straight swop of Smudger for Butt. Shola will hoping to start after scoring on Saturday, while his mate Marlon should be heading back down the road to Villa as his loan spell has officially ended. Lovenkrands or Carroll will be hoping to replace Harewood.

Possible Toon team:


Starting Derby County XI team on Boxing Day:

Bywater, Connolly, Buxton, McEveley, Moxey, Croft, Savage, Pearson, Teale, Porter, Dickov.

Newcastle United will be hoping to extend their recent unbeaten run against Derby County. They haven’t lost at home in 9 league games, having won 5 and drawn 4. Their last clash at St James’ Park ended in a 2-2 draw on 23rd December 2007.

Prediction 2-0 to the Toon.

Howay the Lads!

NUFCBlog Author: geordie deb geordie deb has written 38 articles on this blog.

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2 Responses

  1. Howay the Lads !
    3 points today or I will be on here cussing later this evening :)

  2. We’ll need to play better.

    Teams will be looking at us and knowing how we play now so we need to start improving.