NEWCASTLE defender Federico Fernandez was left to wonder how different things might have been with a 52,000 capacity crowd roaring on he and his team-mates in Sunday night’s FA Cup quarter final defeat to Manchester City.

Fernandez told nufc TV: “To play here with the fans, it would be a different history. We missed the atmosphere.

“But it is what it is. We need to carry on and try to finish the season in a better way and we will see them next season when they come back here.

“We had a really clear chance with Dwight to maybe level the game, but after that, the second goal made it really difficult for us.”

City’s Belgium international Kevin De Bruyne marked his 29th birthday with the first goal in the 2-0 win, having been employed in a deeper-lying midfield role at St James’ Park, where City have struggled to break down the Magpies in recent seasons.

He said is happy to do whatever job Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola asks him to after helping to fire the holders into the FA Cup semi-finals.

However, De Bruyne had no qualms about acceding to Guardiola’s request as he contemplated a last-four showdown with Arsenal.

De Bruyne told the club’s official website: “I just do my job for the team. (The role) doesn’t really matter. In my career, I’ve played lots of positions.

“The coach asked me to do something different. We can also play with five at the back.

“We have enough good players up front to make the difference. It’s my job to help the team and get them in good positions.”

As they have done so often in the recent past, City were utterly dominant in possession as they pinned Newcastle back deep inside their own half, although without engineering a breakthrough until defender Fabian Schar, for reasons best known to himself, pushed Gabriel Jesus to the ground and left referee Lee Mason with little option but to point to the spot.

Penalties have represented something of an issue for Guardiola’s men this season, but De Bruyne has accepted that task too and dispatched it with confidence.