NEWCASTLE UNITED’S players are desperate to bring a trophy to St James’ Park, even if a cup competition is not ranked as a priority inside the boardroom.
The Magpies sealed a last-16 tie with Manchester City in the Capital One Cup with a routine 2-0 victory over Leeds United on Wednesday night.
It was a success, courtesy of goals from Papiss Cisse and Yoan Gouffran, which highlighted a desire within the squad to make progress in the competition.
That performance arrived after it was leaked by supporters that they had been told, through a fans’ forum, that cup competitions were seen more as an opportunity for manager Alan Pardew to look at the squad as a whole rather than field the strongest team.
But Sylvain Marveaux, who returned to the starting lineup against Leeds, insisted there is a real wish for the players to end Newcastle’s 58- year wait for domestic silverware – despite a decent start to a Premier League campaign before last Saturday’s defeat to Hull City.
“I think it has been a good start but then the last loss to Hull was a little bit disappointing,”
said Marveaux. “If we won the game we could have been in a really, really good position in the table. Moments like this we have to win – not to lose – especially at home. We’ve got a big game on Monday at Everton and hopefully we’ll get something from it.
“But the players take the cups seriously too. Cup games are really important for us.
You never know, if you can win a few games you can win something and that would create history. We want to do that, we want to be the men who end the wait for a trophy here.
“Don’t forget, most players in this squad have not won anything in their careers. One or two are lucky enough to have done but the rest of us want to win medals and this is an opportunity to do that.
“Why would we not take it seriously when there is that reward at the end of it? It means we will give 100 per cent in the cup games, just as we do in the league.”
Last season Newcastle reached the quarter-finals of the Europa League only to lose to Benfica, but this year without that extra competition to distract them there is a real desire from within the dressing room to make progress in both the Capital One Cup and FA Cup.
If they are to reach the quarter-finals of the former, though, Newcastle have to knock out Manchester City, who beat them 4-0 on the opening weekend of the new campaign.
“It is a hard draw against a very good side,” said Marveaux.
“At least it is at home, where we will have big support.
“It is a one-off game and we will have St James’ Park behind us so why should we not think we can win?
“It is a different game to the first game of the season. We know Manchester City are a fantastic team, they have lots of big players but we will have to be confident and believe we can win.”
What team Pardew sends out against City in the week of October 28 remains to be seen, although Marveaux would like to think the players who overcame Leeds have shown there is depth in the squad.
The Frenchman was one of five changes to the team which lost to Hull. He said: “It was a big game for a lot of players on Wednesday. Those who came into the side really wanted to play well for ourselves and the team.
“We wanted to show the manager what we can do and we did not want to lose. I think everyone did their job. The atmosphere in this group has always been good – that is not a problem.
“I agree with the manager that the team spirit is very good in the group. I think the players that came in proved they are good enough for the first team.
“We have a great squad and the manager has a difficult choice – he can only choose 11 players.”