Mark Hughes is somebody who most Newcastle fans don’t appear to have much time for.
Whether it is more mature supporters recalling his annoying manner as a dirty cheat for Manchester United, or the charmless manner everybody has seen as he tries to make his way in management.
However, he has gone on a bit of charm offensive ahead of Saturday’s game…or is that damning with faint praise?
Mark Hughes says that Newcastle will still be ‘buoyed’ by the win over Norwich. Hmmm, whilst it was definitely a relief and of course enjoyable at the time, when you are in the relegation zone with only one win in 10 matches, it is very hard to feel anything but a sinking feeling.
The Stoke boss tips Newcastle to get out of trouble and the summer investment in players to eventually pay off.
However, I bet he says similar platitudes about every team, including Watford who beat them last time out.
Always an added bonus to beat certain managers and Mark Hughes is high on my list, let’s hope that the goalscoring form of Norwich does return with a vengeance tomorrow…
“I thought they were the better team at Sunderland before the sending off, they will think they were hard done by and will want to put that right this weekend.
“Prior to that game, their last one at St James’ Park, they had a big win against Norwich and they will still be buoyed by that victory.
“It is always difficult to play Newcastle away and we will need to replicate the performance levels we showed on Tuesday if we are to get a positive result.
“Steve McClaren is very experienced and has been through times like this before. It is a big opportunity for him at a big club and he will be confident of turning things around soon because he is a good manager.
“They made a significant investment in the summer – around £50m – and it can take a little bit of time for those guys to integrate and maybe that hasn’t happened as quickly as they would have hoped.
“We are only 10 games into the season though and it may be a case of them going through a transitional period.
“You need points on the board though and they will be looking to get wins under their belt. I am sure they will get them, hopefully not until after the weekend though.”