Time to focus on final games after Newcastle’s break

BAD DAY: Alan Pardew is involved in a touchline fracas with former Sunderland midfielder David Meyler a fortnight ago

BAD DAY: Alan Pardew is involved in a touchline fracas with former Sunderland midfielder David Meyler a fortnight ago

First published in Sport

SO, the only silverware I’ll see this season will be the silver Subbuteo set of Newcastle United Gavin Shelley is making, including a celebrating Alan Shearer – well worth a look when finished!

Following another rest, another challenge, to make sure this season doesn’t end with memories of what could have been and unfortunate events that have blotted the copybook.

The next two games for Newcastle United have many implications for clubs at both ends of the table and for both North-East clubs.

Both matches involve clubs in fear of relegation, Crystal Palace, who visit our region two weeks on the trot, and Fulham who we visit this week. We could do our neighbours two favours.

Of course, we have targets of our own to concentrate on. Following two victories, we should now be safe but there is plenty to play for as a team and as individuals.

We have plenty of players hoping to travel to Brazil in the summer, particularly our French contingent but also our Dutchmen. To keep our stars we need to finish as high up as possible.

A good finish, and hopefully a European place, will hopefully gloss over the major news at St James’ over the past week. We will be without our manager on the touchline for (at least, it now turns out) for the next seven matches.

John Carver is likely to take the reins during the 90 minutes until Alan Pardew’s ban is up. A Newcastle man through and through; I, as a fan, cannot think of anyone else I’d rather have giving out instructions.

He, Stevie Stone and Andy Woodman will make sure we are up the rest of the season.

There will be no anti-climax to our season I’m sure. Whatever happens, I’m very glad we’re not in the relegation battle but it’ll be fun being involved.

JOHN MIDDLETON

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