Welcome one and all to this the last of the season ‘Game On’ article which will take us through the highs and lows ( Of what is our most important game in 6yrs ) as we play host to West Ham in this afternoons Premier league game (3pm kick-off), We go into the game knowing that a win would secure our Premier league status for another year. Anything less, and we will have to rely on Hull’s result against Manchester United.
Both teams go into this match on the back of 2-1 defeats in London last weekend – As we lost to already relegated Queens Park Rangers, the Hammers ended their home games with a reverse to Everton.
Speaking ahead of the game John Carver said “I’m looking forward to the challenge,”
“I have enough players in that dressing room who realise how much this game means. Let’s be honest – it’s the biggest game at this football club for six years.
“I’m sure that Sam (Allardyce,) will bring his strongest team here. Everybody wants to win a Premier League football match and Sam and Kevin Nolan won’t be any different.
“I’m expecting the players to step up to the plate and put in a big performance that’s worthy of keeping them in the Premier League.
“We have to win this game. I said a few weeks ago that four points was the target and we got one against West Brom so yes, we have to win.
“The lads have to play to the game and not the occasion because sometimes you can get carried away with what’s going on around the outside, but they need to stay composed.
“We can’t fear wanting to get on the ball and play, if we get that reaction and we get on the ball then I’m confident.
“I’m expecting the atmosphere to be electric. Against West Brom it was like being in a proper football stadium again – it was fantastic. I know that for the 90 minutes on Sunday it’ll be the same.
“Six years ago it wasn’t in our hands but it is now. We can take care of our own business and that’s the important thing.”
Also speaking ahead of the game Fan and blogger Big Dave said ” I am dreading the game as I just don’t think our players have the bottle/ spirit to go and really give the Hammers a fight”, ” and I think we will have to hope that Man United do us a favour by beating Hull”, ” I also think it’s a real disgrace that Mike Ashley has let our once great club get into this position again because he wanted to gamble from Jan that we would have enough points to secure our Prem status without having to invest in the transfer window, the same way he gambled in Jan last year”. ” I can’t ever remember feeling so disinterested in our club as I have this year, it is just one mistake after the other, we have an owner that has zero interest or ambition in the club except to stay in the prem for the huge revenue from the televised games, and keep using us as as a huge advertisement hoarding for his only love Sports Direct, ” I am very near the point of not really worrying about the outcome of todays game, as I think if we stay up the Regime wont really learn or change their ways, and it will just be more of the same,” ” if we get relegated then things will have to change and the Regime will have the ambition to win games to get promoted back in to the multi million £ honey pot AKA the Premier league” . so it’s a toss up of remaining the Premier league’s whipping boy’s, or being a competitive Championship side ? the sad thing for me is that I know there is a lot of other Toon fans are thinking the same way and that is all down to one Man Mr Mike Ashley.
Newcastle– Mike Williamson is in contention for a starting spot after serving a two-match ban for a red card at Leicester earlier this month. Siem de Jong (thigh) has trained but remains a slight doubt, while Massadio Haidara (knee), Cheick Tiote (knee), Rob Elliot (thigh) and Steven Taylor (Achilles) will miss out once again.
West Ham – Centre-back James Collins is expected to miss out with a calf injury, having been forced off in the first half against Everton last weekend. Fellow defender James Tompkins could return, however, after a spell on the sidelines with a dislocated shoulder. The Hammers will definitely be without striking duo Andy Carrol (knee) and Diafra Sakho (thigh), along with defender Guy Demel (calf).
HOWAY THE LADS
Newcastle United Krul, Janmaat, Coloccini (c), Williamson, Dummett, Sissoko, Anita, Colback, Gutierrez, Rivière, Cissé.
Subs Woodman, R.Taylor, Gouffran, Ameobi, Cabella, de Jong, Perez.
West Ham Adrian, Jenkinson, Burke, Reid, Cresswell, Song, Nolan (c), Kouyate, Downing, Valencia, Cole
Subs Jaaskelainen, O’Brien, Tomkins, Amalfitano, Jarvis, Lee, Nene