“When you’re happy and you’re feeling fine, then you’ll know it’s the right time…”
Only 15 matches remain in the current Premier League season, with Newcastle United and manager Rafa Benitez working to avoid a return to the Championship. The Magpies dropped points at home to Swansea in their last fixture, and this weekend brings a monumental task for a result.
Newcastle travel to face first-place Manchester City on Saturday evening. Kick-off is set for 5:30 PM local time, and Benitez’s squad know that they will have to be at their absolute best. City earned a 1-0 victory at St. James’ Park in December.
That particular game brought about strong emotions from fans and pundits, as many thought that the tactics deployed by United were far too negative.
City and manager Pep Guardiola come into this encounter with plenty of motivation, following their first loss of the league campaign at Liverpool.
The Magpies currently sit only three points above the relegation zone in 15th place, making their draw against the Swans even more discouraging ahead of this weekend.
Adding to that feeling, news earlier this week could have fans once again voicing their angst in various ways.
The proposed deal between Mike Ashley and PCP Capital Partners for the ownership of the club has broken down, and supporters rightly feel deflated.
A new beginning seemed set to start in the North East, but now the backlash rolls out instead.
Ultimately, we must wait to see the effects both on and off the pitch. The Toon Army will always be behind their club – that is never really in any sort of doubt. But do the boycotts, walk-outs and “Ashley Out” banners return on Tyneside? It is anybody’s guess at this moment, and that mindset will surely impact confidence ahead of the team’s trip to the Etihad.
Newcastle United and Rafa Benitez have a tough challenge in front of them on Saturday at Manchester City. Points are vital right now, and this match comes at a very bad time for the club.