Blackburn Rovers vs Newcastle United – What the managers are saying.

Posted on October 26th, 2011 | 10 Comments |

Alan Pardew and Steve Kean: Old friends
Alan Pardew and Steve Kean: Old friends
Hello and welcome to our review of what the managers have been saying in the run up to Newcastle United’s League Cup game with Blackburn Rovers, which kicks off at 8PM this evening at Ewood Park.

For an in depth preview of the match, please check out our match preview, in which I take a look at the team news, previous stats between the sides, squads, possible selction and tactics etc. We will also be running our usual “match banter” feature during the game, which will go out around an hour before the kick off.

With Blackburn already fighting for survival at the foot of the Premiership, and Newcastle United currenty riding high in fourth place, it might seem that Blackburn would be the underdogs in this League Cup battle. However, Blackburn will have the home advantage, and Newcastle United’s Silver Supremo, Alan Pardew, has insisted that this will be a tough game, but that he will definitely be going for the win. Though he has been very cagey about what team he will be putting out, he insisted to BBC Radio Newcastle’s “Total Sport” programme:

“We want to win, we want to win it. Don’t worry about that!”

However, as mentioned above, he was secretive about what his selection policy would be, saying:

“I think that Blackburn will be watching everything I say and I don’t want to give them any indication of what I’m going to put out, because they’re in a situation where they have real pressure on them in terms of the bottom of the table. So I’m going to watch their selection at the weekend. I’m going to watch how they approach this game. I know how I’m going to approach it, I’ve already made my mind up. So I’m afraid I’m not going to give you any clues on that!”

On Blackburn’s current struggle at the bottom of the Premiership, and how this might affect Blackburn manager, Steve Kean’s approach to the match, he then brought up the subject of last years winners, Birmingham City, who put out strong sides and won the competition after beating Arsenal in the final, but were ultimately relegated in the last game of the season. On this he added:

“The fact that Birmingham won the (League) Cup last year gives everyone, and of course, they get relegated on the back of it, and you can see managers and chairmen perhaps looking at that and fearing it. I don’t fear it and nor do my board. We’ll go and attack the cups, we’ve got a strong squad, and I think, I’m hoping that we can get through Blackburn and get a home draw (Newcastle have had three away ties in a row so far). That would be nice, because that’s an advantage in that competition because it’s over on the night. You knowing you’ve got penalties definitely affects those and you know it might be a penalty competition at one end of a stadium that sways and get you to the final.”

Speaking in a later interview, Pardew spoke further on game, stressing that the Magpie’s very good start in the League was a necessary platform in helping him to strive for other cups, saying:

“You can only strive for them if you’ve got success in the Premier League, because the stability of the football club depends on the stability in the Premier League.

“Fortunately for us we have 19 points so that’s and outstanding effort by the team and it gives us a good situation.”

However on selection he was once again coy, adding only:

“My team selection will be very much what I think is needed for the game.”

Pardew then spoke of how he knew Kean quite well, suggesting that despite the pressure both Kean and Blackburn are under in the League, they would still be strong, especially with the home advantage, and it would undoubtedly be a tough match which could hinge on something small saying:

“I know Steve Kean, I’ve worked with Steve Kean, and this is a good professional person in terms of being in charge of a football club,” he said. “He’s got good experience.

“He’s having a tough time with the home fans and that makes it tough for the team, so it’s a tough agenda for them. But it’s not something that they can’t come through.

“As Mick McCarthy proved with Wolves at the weekend, sometimes just one little thing can change the whole dynamics of something. I expect Wolves and Mick to kick on from that and that’s what Steve Kean will be looking for; just something to grab hold of and to kick on from.

“I think it’s very important that they get a result so I think they’ll be very strong. It’s a cup-tie and at the level we’re playing at, there’s going to be nothing between us so it’s about desire and, on the night, making sure you do your job to the best of your ability – and hopefully win the game.

“They have an advantage. They’re the home side; penalties, extra time would be on their pitch, so it’s a tough game for us.”

Meanwhile on the other side of the fence, Steve Kean bemoaned Blackburn’s current injuries in the squad of which there are quite a few at the moment, and also how Blackburn had a tighter schedule of fixtures than the Magpies currently. He remarked on this:

“We are still down on bodies, and with Nzonzi suspended and Slew cup-tied we are lighter than we were on Sunday.”

“We’ve a little bit of choice, but our programme is tighter than Newcastle’s as we played Sunday, they played Saturday, after this we play Saturday and they don’t play until Monday night, so we’ve been a lot lighter on them so far in terms of the pre-match preparation.

“We’ll see how everyone is in training tomorrow, we’ll do some testing and just make sure that everybody’s levels are back up so they are not putting themselves at risk.”

Kean also spoke of the ucurrent negativity surrounding Blackburn in the run up to this match saying:

You hope that you can turn around people who have got a little bit of negativity and want to have a go. We didn’t turn them around with (Saturday’s) result (a 2-1 defeat to Tottenham), but hopefully they can see that we have gone up against a team like Tottenham and dealt with them well. I thought we minimised them.”

Well Pardew is probably right to say that despite everything, this will still be a tough away game in which anything could happen, especially if it goes to penalties in the end.

Writing personally, I only hope that he is brave and puts out a strong side this evening. It was only in 2002 that Blackburn won this trophy, however Newcastle have never won it, and it has now been over forty years since we won any major trophy. As we are in a strong position, and winning this could give us a place in Europe whether we finish the season on the top places or not, I feel that it would be well worth going for.

Howay the lads!

NUFCBlog Author: workyticket workyticket has written 1093 articles on this blog.

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10 Responses

  1. Gotta be a first for Pardew, finding something he did’nt wanna talk about!
    With the possibility of both Saylor and Tiote unavailable, guess we are going to finally see changes.
    Hope that includes both HBA and Marveaux, doncha think it’s also about time Santon got a start ?
    Posted my choice of sides on the other blog, which included Santon a LB, with Cabaye taking on the Tiote role.
    Both Marv and Abeid on the right side and HBA and Ferguson on the left flank.
    And Perch filling in for Saylor, yeah i know he’s not liked by most, I just think he’s a decent and versatile little player.
    As stated by our “SUPREMO” as some have labelled him,
    “we have a strong squad” then how about using them ?
    Does the excuse of injuries, now allow changes ?

  2. You lot all think you’re brilliant with your comments about Pardew giving interviews. Almost every blog now starts with “In a rare interview…”

    He’s asked to do interviews, it’s part of the job. It’s not like he’s getting out his soap box, placing it in front of SJP and just going off. Honestly, might’ve been funny the first time, but let it go.
    @workyticket et al.

  3. Hard game this one. In the past, United have gone into games against teams who are struggling – and failed to do the business. Tiote and Taylor will be a big miss – but on the other hand, this is probably the sternest test yet of the depth (or not!) of the current squad – and Pardew’s (Carver’s?) ability to motivate them.

  4. CanadaTOON says:
    October 26, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    “You lot all think you’re brilliant with your comments about Pardew giving interviews. Almost every blog now starts with “In a rare interview…”

    CanadaTOON Perhaps you’d care to point out where it says anything like that in this piece?

    Did you actually bother to read it before jumping the gun?

    You think you’re brilliant with your comments :-)

  5. UTD111 says:
    October 26, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    “this is probably the sternest test yet of the depth (or not!) of the current squad”

    I’m definitely looking forward to the team sheet for this onr more than usual UTD111.

  6. It was in reference to the first comment, chuck says:
    October 26, 2011 at 5:53 pm
    Gotta be a first for Pardew, finding something he did’nt wanna talk about!

    I’ve just noticed its a rather significant theme in your writing. Originality never hurt you know.

  7. Team in:

    Plenty of experience, and plenty of pace! Can’t wait! Shoot the goals mighty newcastle!

  8. boater says:
    October 26, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    “Team in:

    No Paul Dalglish or Frank Pingel upfront then boater?

    That’s a scandal!

    Stop picking on Pardew and a little more originality if you please, oh! whoops sorry, that was me.
    Actually i’m calling for a little more originality from Pardew, have a feeling it’s gonna be a long wait !

    Reading the rumor about a possible move for Brown @ Celtic.
    He is apparently on the last year of his contract and looks disinterested in an extension.
    Four million could get us a Tiote clone, which we need badly.
    Guy can run all day and put his foot in, ideal for using in tandem with Tiote for games against, the Wolves, Stoke type sides, or platooned with Tiote.
    Someone in the EPL will sign him, as tough tackling DM’s are at a premium.

  10. Worky – no room with hottiger, serrant, glass, bracewell, Varadi etc.

    Good team out there the neet. HWTL!