Friday, May 15, 2009

Newcastle's hunt for survival continues against Fulham

Following Monday evenings triumphant victory over Middlesbrough at St James' Park, Newcastle has edged itself out of the relegation zone, albeit with the narrowest of margins. Saturday afternoons affair with Fulham is very possibly the ultimate decider if Newcastle is to survive the relegation or be cast into the purgatory of the lower division.

While the media feeding frenzy in overdrive discussing over all things Newcastle, the task at hand is on the pitch. Issues concerning Michael Owen's contract, Mark Viduka's and a number of important issues, the "here and now" is the only thing important. Newcastle must show greater confidence defending than it against 'Boro or Roy Hodgson's side will slice and dice them apart. Despite being victorious against Middlesbrough, Newcastle rarely looked confident defending and each touch by Gareth Southgate's in the final third exposed their weakness.

For the match Newcastle are without the services of José Enrique as well as Joey Barton who remains suspended by the club. Oba Martins and Alan Smith are highly questionable, further complicated Mr. Shearer's choices.

As it was on Monday the advantage of St. James' voracious support could hold the balance of power. Saturday afternoon the flags will wave and every voice must rise in support of the Magpies.