With Mike Ashley finally departing St James Park, and Newcastle United’s new owners rocking up and slowly beginning to spend the cash on higher profile, but very key additions to the squad, fans have seen plenty of improvements on the pitch and under Eddie Howe’s management this year, we find ourselves heading into the month of February with an EFL Cup semi final second leg (Southampton) to look forward to, as well as sitting quite pretty in third place in the Premier League table.
Given the form we find ourselves in when it comes to the English top flight table, with only a few days left of the January transfer window, fans will be hoping there is a least a signing of note made to help ensure we can keep this run going until the end of the season, as nobody will be turning their noses up at a potential Champions League spot, as that would prove the turn around in our fortunes given where we were even two seasons ago and back then you would not have got favourable football odds on that turnaround happening.
Former England, Newcastle United and Manchester United striker, Andy Cole, has recently sat down for a more fulsome interview with Betway Insider, and given how our season is going under Howe, we featured a fair bit in his thoughts and one of the big things that had stood out for him this season, was the increased atmosphere and optimism at St James Park, given the performances we were now seeing from the team.
“It’s absolutely frightening. Games at the weekend, sold out and it’s raucous. Absolute bedlam. All that Newcastle fans want is for their team to give 100 per cent. Naturally, they want to win matches, but if the players give 100 per cent, they’ll support you until they can’t give anymore. And that’s what they’re getting now. They’re in the semi-finals of the League Cup, they’re third in the league, and from now until the end of the season you can guarantee they will be 100 per cent behind the team.”
A Champions League spot is obviously very high on the list of wants and desires from this season now given our somewhat unexpected position at gone the half way point of the year, and Cole knew that should we be able to secure that by the end of the campaign, it would be a massive incentive for the owners to back Howe even further – not least given the extra European riches that would then flow our way.
“If they were to qualify for Europe, regardless of which competition it is, the atmosphere would be unbelievable. I’m sure some serious money would be spent on new players, too. The owners will be wondering if they can get Champions League. And if they get Champions League, they will be thinking, “right, we can bring in X, Y, Z.” If their model is like Manchester City’s and they bring in the right players, the only way it can end up is that they compete for the biggest titles in England and in Europe. It’s inevitable, even if it takes a few years.”
There is plenty of hard work to be done between now and the end of the season, but the improvement in palpable – we will just have to see where we end up.
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