Time for a win - 22/03/2004

Time for a win
Time to shine for Jay-Jay

We’ve been playing well but not getting the results, on Sunday I feel it’s a good opportunity to set things right. No disrespect to Newcastle, but they blow hot and cold and they’re a different side away from St. James Park. We played well against Chelsea and got nothing, and at times on Saturday we worried Arsenal - and that’s after they had the luxury of two early goals. We’ve a good record against Newcastle at the Reebok and I honestly expect us to continue this way.

We need to get back on track, four Premiership defeats on the bounce have cast a shadow over what was looking to be both a memorable and successful season. It worries me that quite often a middle placed table drops down the league and ends up being relegated. Leicester picked up a point at the weekend, Portsmouth got their derby win, and Leeds may be able to put their off field problems behind them, The bottom line is that we’re seven points clear of the third from bottom team with nine games - or 27 points - to play for. Three home points against the Geordies would go a long way to securing survival.

It’s disappointing that Jay Jay Okocha has put his contract talks on hold. It tells us that his negotiations with the club weren’t as advanced as we’d hoped. If he’d signed it would have given us all a lift, but let’s not worry about it too much. He, along with something like fourteen other players are coming out of contract this June - that’s a big incentive for them to turn in some decent performances. They’re paying for their futures and it’s up to them to prove to the club that they’re worth keeping on. Sunday’s game is a great opportunity to convince Sam they’re worthy of new deals.

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