Date: 19th January 2006 at 3:25pm
Written by:

Shepherd: ‘This is a time for everyone associated with Newcastle United – from the boardroom, to the coaching and playing staff and all our loyal fans – to be positive and to go for it.

‘Sometimes people can look at the negatives too much. Yes we have injuries, but people shouldn’t forget that we still have a lot of quality players and experienced internationals available.

‘We still have 10 home matches to play in the Premiership and that’s 30 points, so I don’t understand why some people are saying we cannot qualify for Europe when nothing has been decided yet.

‘I still believe we can, you have to be positive when there are still so many games left. There is still over three months of the season left, and anything can still happen

‘The injuries have also meant that some of the younger lads have been given a chance to come through and test themselves on the biggest stage.

‘Newcastle fans always like to see good young players rise through the ranks, and if any of those lads are involved against Blackburn, then I know they’ll get the full backing of the crowd which will give them confidence.

‘A good win against Blackburn would set us up nicely for the FA Cup game at Cheltenham the following week and that’s what we’re all aiming for.

‘The message is simple: With the best fans in the business backing us, let’s all be positive and get out there and climb up the table and have a good run in the cup.’