Date: 2nd January 2009 at 7:57pm
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Known for his sunderland roots Phil Brown is hardly Mr Popular in Newcastle circles with this and his Allardyce leanings. Speaking ahead of the cup team, pitting two poor teams against each other, he believes the winner will go on to up their league form. The permatanned one said:

“Most probably no-one in football would have predicted a 5-1 defeat. I thought Joe Kinnear had certainly steadied the ship if you looked at the scorelines and form. It looked like they were going to push up to the top half of the division.

Certainly, they`ll be coming here like a wounded animal and the shoe`s on the same foot for ourselves. We deserved to get something from the Aston Villa game, but unfortunately the decisions and everything else went against us. We were very unlucky against an in-form team who are certainly capable of breaking the stronghold of the top four.

We gave them a good game and more than matched them. Both sides haven`t been in the best of form and will be looking to get back to winning ways. We`ve lost the last three and understand the FA Cup can help our league form. I certainly found that in my own playing career and hopefully the current players will be the same. It`s a tough game, though.

Joe has talked about his injury problems and that he only has 11 fit players, but they`ll come out fighting after the Liverpool game. We`ve sold about 21,000 tickets, and I know Newcastle have sold their 2,500 allocation. The KC Stadium makes for a tremendous atmosphere when it`s full.

A win against Newcastle would be a timely reminder to us of what it takes to win a game of football. It would give us a boost, not that we`re suffering. The response I`ve got from the players has been magnificent.”