Newcastle United vs Wigan Athletic: What the managers are saying…

Posted on October 22nd, 2011 | 11 Comments |

Pardew vs Martinez - Let battle commence!
Pardew vs Martinez - Let battle commence!
Hello and welcome to my review of what the managers are saying in the run up to today’s fixture, with Newcastle United facing Roberto Martinez’s Wigan.

This being a Newcastle United ‘blog, of course, the first cab off the rank so to speak is our very own Silver Supremo, Alan Pardew. While Newcastle United may be undefeated and riding high in the top four, Pardew sounded a note of caution, suggesting that things may be tougher in the future. When asked if he still has much to learn about his team, Pardew replied:

“I think so, and I think Saturday will provide some different problems because the crowd will be expectant. We haven’t really had that this year, them expecting us to win, so maybe our first misplaced pass will be greeted with jeers. They are the sort of things we have got to overcome.”

“We might have a guy sent off, the ref might make a terrible decision – we haven’t suffered that yet, so that’s all to come, and it’s how we react to that.”

Hmmm. Well after such a good start overall, I hardly think that we fans would would “jeer” one or two misplaced passes Alan! However although it is true that the both the lads, and Pardew himself, have done very well so far, combining a mixture of an excellent workrate combined with more than a little skill, it is also true that we have had an bit of luck with referees on one or two occaisions too, and we Magpie’s fans can’t say that too often! As Pardew himself suggests above, this almost certainly won’t last forever, and of course, we will get beaten eventually as all teams do.

But getting back to Pardew, he remained cautious, and also respectful of today’s vistors to St James’ Park. Though they are currently in the relegation zone and this is a home game for Pardew, he certainly doesn’t see it as an “easy” game, suggesting that complacency could lead to a potential banana skin. He told Sky Sports News:

“We need to keep the levels of performance and discipline that we’ve set on Saturday because we’ve got what is potentially a slippery game.

“We’re on a tough run at the minute and they’ll be really coming to us to prove a point, so we have to be on our guard.

“I think for us it’s just the next game. We’re just focusing on that and I think that’s probably helped us,” he explained.

“We find ourselves in a lofty position and we’re hoping to stay there. We’ve got a home game and, as I’ve said before, all our home games we expect to win.

“It’s important that it’s a collective effort because discipline, the way we’ve gone about it and the way we’ve played our football is a good advertisement for Newcastle. We need to keep that up.”

Meanwhile, on the pther side of the fence, Wigan manager, Roberto Martinez, looked back at recent beatings in an interview with ‘Absolute Radio”. He strted by musing on how this has affected the sides confidence, but then sounded more positive, saying:

“I think our performances have been heavily punished and that affects confidence a little bit,”

“But the work this week has been really, really impressive from the players. They took amazing responsibility. They’re desperate to affect the small margins that at the moment are going against us.

Turning to the subject of todays game, and Newcastle United, he then continued:

“We all know Saturday is a fantastic place to play our football but we’re facing a team that are in a great moment of form and we’ll have to be at our best. We’re excited, we’re looking forward to the challenge and I feel that we are ready.”

After musing on Wigan’s usual position, mingling with the lower end of Premiership society in and around the relegation zone, he then returned to the subject of the high society Magpies, who are of course currently not just in the European places, but the Champion’s League places. Martinez focused on Newcastle United’s recent influx of fancy Frenchmen along with one or two others, and how they have taken little or no time to settle in and hit the ground running. On this Martinez mused:

“Yes, yes, I think it’s fair to say that obviously with the new players coming I think they adapted really, really well to the group and they started to enjoy a run of form that allows them to play with real intensity, real confidence,”

“When they’re playing at home they’re playing with real confidence and real belief and we’ll have to be able to play against that.”

Finally, while Martinez ackknowledges that his side are facing difficult times, as they did last season, but he feels that they can respond this afternoon:

“I feel we are capable of responding to adversity and that is what we have to do on Saturday.”

The final words in this summary go not to a manager, but to Wigan chairman, Dave Whelan. Of course, as most of you might know, he is arguably the biggest rival to Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley in the world of sportswear retailing, and have a long “history” which involves Ashley reporting Whelan to the Fair Trade Commission for price fixing. Since then, on the surface anyway, there has been much emnity including a war of words, nearly all from Whelan’s side, and other stuff too as the two retail giants continue their business and football rivalry. However, in an interview in the run up to the Wigan game, Whelan was remarkably generous about his his old enemy, saying that he could yet become a fan’s favourite in Newcastle, and even insisted that they got on rather well really!

Over to Whelan. On Ashley winning over we Geordie fans he said:

“Can he win over the fans? First he has to get Newcastle winning. If they could win some silverware, I think the fans would flock around him and back him to the hilt.

“Newcastle have been so short on success and they really deserve it.”

On his personal relationship with Ashley he then added:

“We have had some petty disputes but generally Mike and myself have got on very well.”

Then getting back to Newcastle United he said:

“His team has performed fantastically under Alan Pardew.

“But I’m sure we will be prepared because Roberto Martinez is one of the best managers you will ever see.”

Which I think you’ll agree is a far cry from some of his previous rants about Newcastle United’s controversial owner such as:

“He cleared the board out and people started walking into his boardroom in replica strips, jeans and trainers. You don’t do that at a football club.

“He has no class whatsoever.”

Well, here endeth today’s roundup. Here’s hoping for a great match and of course, a Newcastle United victory!

Howay The Lads!


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

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11 Responses

  1. I think this may be a very difficult game and perhaps very disappointing for our fans but I hope not.

    Wigan have to win at some point. They cannot go on losing. This is a possible bannana skin game.

    I hope Pardew drills into the team to forget the league positions of the respective teams and recent results. We have to be ruthless.

  2. Some reason I can’t log my predictions on my phone and aint at home to get on laptop can one of the mods do it for me please?

  3. Kamar mate – I know the feeling, pride before the fall, don’t count chickens etc. – but we are 4th in the PL, undefeated, our luck is lasting, we are on a roll.
    OK it will end sometime – just like any other top side – so enjoy it now.
    For us this is a battle for 3rd place – yes, say it again 3rd place!
    For them its an early relegation scrap and we know only too well what that is like! they are desperate for a point – if we get an early goal they will have no plan B and collapse like a house of cards.

    Show them no mercy!

  4. workey – good bit of insight there on how wigan feel, sounds much like us in the past – they have to beat themselves before they beat us! Let’s go for an early goal and confirm their worst fears!

  5. Lucky 2-2 finish in this fixture both previous times. Hopefully we’ll do better now they’ve not got N’Zogbia and Bramble to terrorise us.

  6. are asking “Manchester United, Manchester City or Newcastle United – Who will go unbeaten the longest?”
    That’s the type of coverage we’ve been waiting for years to see!
    Let’s hope that after tomorra’s manchester derby we will be 3rd and one of only two unbeaten sides!

    We CAN do it!


  7. We need these points-tough games ahead. Let’s hope the lads are up for it! I’m going with a 2-0 to the Toon…

  8. Shud be good test today see if the lads have learnt from last season. I think well win would like to see HBA start. Things are promisin 3-1 toon