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Newcastle United 3 v 2 Southampton
Barclays Premier League
Saturday, 6th February 2021 Kick-off 15:00
Southampton At Newcastle United The Preview
Saturday, 6th Feb 2021 09:15

Its the beginning of the future today, as Saints put the horror of Tuesday behind them and look to get back a few players to the squad and regain their form of only a few weeks ago. What is done is done, it is only the future that can change.

Ralph Hasenhuttl will be working with the squad this week on rebuilding confidence, he will be pointing out to the players that the result at Old Trafford was all about a collision of certain things arriving all at once, a horrendous injury list that laid the squad bare to the bone, a rush of blood that led to sending off after only 75 seconds, two terrible VAR decisions that turned the result from a mere rout to a total debacle after the second sending off.

No one is pretending that any of the incidents cost us the game, but even with the sending off we kept going and if Che Adams goal had counted and VAR had rued out the late penalty the result would have looked a little more respectable.

All of that combined to conjure up a freak result and Ralph will be quick to emphasise that this was not a full side completely outclassed, that would be hard to repair, but as we get players back from injury we can put this behind us and show the class we showed only a few weeks ago.

From this perspective the squad will be boosted not only by the rescinding of the red card meaning that Jan Bednarek can play at St James Park, but by the prospect of several players ready to make a return from the injury list.

Ralph has played his cards close to his chest on who may be fit and who are not quite there yet, but he will be using the positives to motivate his squad.

So who will be returning to the squad, it seems that Kyle Walker Peters, Oriol Romeu & Jannik Vestergaard will all travel, but although one maybe two might be fit to start, the likelihood is that at least one will be on the bench, Jannik Vestergaard having been out the longest is perhaps not ready for 90 minutes just yet.

But just their presence is a boost and add to that the arrival of Takumi Minamino, it will be a stronger better balanced squad that will face Newcastle.

No one is pretending that Tuesday evening did not happen, but it's now history and we can't change that, but we can change today at St James Park and move forward.

Ralph will still have a small block of experienced players that will form his starting XI but he will have a few more options to choose from than he did on Tuesday, we are not quite out of the woods yet but at least we can see the light.

Saints record at St James Park is not good, we have lost the last three visits and aside from a 2-1 win and a draw under Ronald Koeman, it has mainly been defeats & the odd draw for the last 24 years .

One omen is that the hero in that last win 6 years ago was another winger on loan Eljero Elias, could history repeat itself this year with Minamino.

So this is a good day for a revival and a win would take us back up the table or at least keep us in touch with a top 8 place.

Newcastle are a funny side this season, our win over them earlier in the season at St Mary's was as comfortable as it can get and they looked a poor side, but they have revived in recent weeks and pulled themselves clear of the relegation dog fight.

Today would ideally see us win the game and silence a few critics, but the first thing we need to do is restore our pride, we still wont have anything like our full side out, but we want to see a team that is organised and can compete.

Photo: Action Images

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Shakin_Stevens added 09:52 - Feb 6
Who'd have thought only a few short weeks ago that this would be a six pointer. Things can change so quickly. Win today and we can put this horrible little spell behind us. Imagine if it's another heavy defeat.... to Newcastle!! Know it's unlikely but the fear is there 🤞

sidsaint added 10:00 - Feb 6
Good positive preview which we all need just now.

sandywelsh added 10:37 - Feb 6
Would be great to see Vestergaard start today rather than the snail paced Stephens.
Our run of bad form started when Vestergaard got injured so when he returns we should start winning again. Hopefully Minamino will start today and will be the creative player that we miss.

underweststand added 10:43 - Feb 6
If we have the chance to see Jannick back in the side, we can hope that he can get back to the fantastic form he showed before injury. He 's just about the right size to match upto a "tough".. (read dirty)... player like Andy Carroll who is no stranger to fouls and yellow cards and we can hope that this time around JV can avoid unfortunate injuries.

It's always wrong to expect new signings to show up as MoM in their first game, but I hope we can see that Minamino can bring an extra dimension to our attacking play.

Colburn added 12:28 - Feb 6
It seems Newcastle have some real defensive issues too, particularly at centre back, so hopefully our attack will include Ings, Adams and Minamino and we go at them. It's about time we grabbed another win up there!

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Blogs 31 bloggers

Letters from Wiltshire #35 by wessex_exile
Letters from Wiltshire #34 by wessex_exile
Letters from Wiltshire #33 by wessex_exile
Letters from Wiltshire #32 by wessex_exile
Fifty years ago yesterday, Colchester United of the 4th Division pulled off the greatest cup giant-killing ever, beating 1st Division Leeds United 3-2 at Layer Road. Watched by 16,000, and the Match of the Day cameras, Dick Graham’s U’s, a rag-tag band of mostly aging journeymen, defied the odds to defeat arguably the greatest club side in Europe at the time. “The greatest cup giant-killing ever” is a bold claim, and over the years various football magazines and websites have run their own polls of which was the greatest. Whilst that day at Layer Rd always features, as the years have gone by other feats fresher in the memory have been put forward as a candidate – we probably all remember Ronnie Radford’s screamer against Newcastle, Sutton’s exploits, or even Bradford City quite recently at Stamford Bridge – but these pale into insignificance when you pause to reflect on the Don Revie side that we beat that day. Sprake, Cooper, Charlton, Hunter, Lorimer, Giles etc – all full internationals, all household names – the only one missing was Billy Bremner, and that was because he was injured. By comparison, all we had to offer was Ray Crawford – at his peak arguably on a par with some in the Leeds side, but that peak had been ten years earlier playing for Ipswich and England. Eleven heroes didn’t just try and hold out against Leeds United, they took the game to their illustrious opponents with such tenacity, grit and no small amount of flair, and before we knew it, the U’s were 3-0 in the lead. As legs tired, Leeds got back into the game with goals from Hunter and Giles, but we held firm – typified at the death by Graham Smith pulling off an impossible save to ensure the U’s achieved the greatest cup giant-killing ever!
Letters from Wiltshire #31 by wessex_exile
And so the dust settles on another transfer window closing, and despite (my) expectations that the possibility of incoming business was going to be remote, we have instead seen a veritable flurry of activity, with no less than three coming in. Big Frank Nouble, making a very welcome return on loan from Plymouth Argyle, of course needs no introduction. Neither really does feisty Brendan Sarpong-Wiredu, here on loan last season, and this time signed full-time from Charlton Athletic for an undisclosed fee. Actually paying hard cash for someone did come as a surprise, presumably offset by the sale of Cohen Bramall to Lincoln for a similarly undisclosed fee. However, the fact that the Addicks have insisted on not only a sell-on clause, but a rarely used buy-back clause too, suggests (a) Wiredu’s signing fee probably wasn’t too high, and (b) Charlton are protecting those finances with these clauses. The last one, which would have been a complete surprise for me were it not for a contact leaking me the news earlier yesterday, is left-back Josh Doherty on loan from Crawley. Josh was only announced once outgoing left-back Bramall was confirmed, and presumably his loan is directly related to part-time fashion model, TV and radio celeb and former left-back Mark Wright signing for Crawley on a non-contract game-by-game basis in December. We have also released seven from the academy, Ollie Kensdale, Miquel Scarlett, Sammie McLeod, Michael Fernandes, Ollie Sims, Danny Collinge and Matt Weaire, and I’m sure we all wish them the best for the future.

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