Ahead of the game tomorrow, we interviewed a Newcastle fan to get his thoughts on the upcoming game and the season in general.
Q – How happy are you with how this season has gone for Newcastle?
A – Fairly happy although we have not been as dominant in the second half
of the season as we were in the first half.
Most Geordie fans just hope we can win the Championship but it could be
that the manager who got us promoted seven years ago – Chris Hughton – now
at Brighton – could win it again.
But the aim of this season was to get an automatic promotion spot and it
looks like we will do that.
So really very happy and it’s obvious the Championship has much better
teams now than seven years ago.
Q – How highly do you rate Rafa Benitez?
A – Very highly – he has completely; transformed both the team and the
club in one year and it seems like a match made in heaven.
To stay with us after we were relegated was real class from the Spaniard.
He takes nothing for granted and has been happy to take on the challenge
of some of the smaller clubs in the second division.
He respects every single team and talks about their strong points at every
Those who run the Championship have to be delighted with the PR he has
given to the league – – he thinks it’s the toughest league in world
football – not the best – but the toughest to play in.
He says he has improved as a manager this season because of all the
demands of the Championship.
Q – Who should we be afraid of most on your team?
A- Dwight Gayle is out injured again, but the player who has been great
for us all season and has been in excellent form since the turn of the
year is Matt Ritchie, who we signed from Bournemouth last summer.
He’s been scoring some good goals for us recently and has 15 goals this
season in total.
Q – What did you think about our game at Elland Road?
A – It was a close game and we were pleased to come away with the 2-0 win
– Rafa seems to be good at the tactics he employs in each game and is also
a great touch-line coach.
It’s obvious that Leeds are a talented side and certainly we have always
thought that Garry Monk was a very good manager.
We were also given a gift goal by goalkeeper Robert Green in that game at
Elland Road – so that also helped us.
Q – Out of the entire Leeds Squad, which player would you like to take off
A – If we can get that promotion, Rafa will be strengthening the team big
time in the summer and he wants to bring in six top players.
One player that could be a good buy for us is left-back Charlie Taylor who
will become a free agent this summer.
We need a left back brought in and he could be a good buy for us – but
other clubs are also very interested in Charlie.
We were linked with him strongly last summer so it could be Rafa really
Q – What’s your prediction for the game on Friday?
A – A 2-1 win for Newcastle.
That could all but seal that promotion place for us.
Newcastle were terrible last time out at Sheffield Wednesday, so we’re
hoping for a much improved performance and all 3 points tomorrow – we’ll
see how it goes.
Q – Finally, who do you think will be promoted and relegated from the
A – Newcastle and Brighton and then it’s a toss-up for the play-off place
and it will depend which team is in form.
That doesn’t look good for Huddersfield who have lost three of their last
We would take Leeds or Sheffield Wednesday and I cannot choose between
If I was pushed obviously I would have to say Leeds (laugh).
But it would also be great if Leeds can get promoted – we need the big
clubs back where they belong in the PL and Leeds fans have suffered far
too long these last 13 years since you left the Premier League.
Newcastle fans know what that pain is like.
For relegation – Rotherham, Wigan and Blackburn and that would be a
tragedy for former Premier League winners Blackburn Rovers and their long
Thanks very much to Ed for doing this interview with us.