Newcastle players, supporters and the manager who has just re-United by the latest progress of result from last Wednesday fixture, will have to keep focus ahead today’s home match against Birmingham City.
The newest test is today when Birmingham City, under the new management of Alex McLeish make a visit to St James’ Park. United will seeking a first win in seven attempts and Big Sam does not anticipate a cakewalk.
“I think it will be a different game entirely to Arsenal; I think they’ll sit back and see what we have to offer. They’ll look to frustrate us and see what they can get from our mistakes or on the break.” Said Allardyce.
Big Sam wants all his defenders to guard against a little complacency. He said it’s sometime easier for a player to go out against a top team like Arsenal because we got to such a high level of effort.
Newcastle will meet the same level of effort from the Blues team today and Big Sam will have to make sure he gets all needed players back there. Meanwhile, Mark Viduka is likely to be a substitute again with Allardyce expected to persist with Obafemi Martins and Alan Smith in attack.
“Alan’s performance in the frontline has made me put Mark on the bench at the moment,” said Allardyce. “That’s obviously been a huge disappointment for Mark but Alan’s performances have helped turn us round in a difficult period.”
Alan Smith’s last two performances must have been his best so far this season in a Newcastle shirt. Smithy got the desire to upset the opposition’s defence and then use his ability to start attacking them after that.