He was a key part of Newcastle United’s revival under Kevin Keegan but now Derek Fazackerley is looking forward to trying to get one over on his old club.
As first team coach, Fazackerley helped Keegan take Newcastle from almost dropping into the third tier, to almost Premier League Champions and European competition.
Now though, Derek Fazackerley (pictured to the right of Keegan above) is assistant to Michael Appleton at Oxford United and is hoping to knock Newcastle out of the FA Cup on Saturday.
He doesn’t think the FA Cup is Rafa’s or Newcastle’s top priority this season but says it is still a ‘fantastic day’ for the Newcastle supporters.
Having clearly loved his time on Tyneside, the former first team coach says that the people at the club might have changed but the club still has ‘the same passionate support’ and ‘huge potential’.
Last season saw Oxford defeat Swansea City in the FA Cup third round and Jonjo Shelvey had a shocker as his career in Wales hit rock bottom.
However, only two days later he signed for Newcastle United and a year later he is the key man in Newcastle’s promotion push but it remains to be seen if Rafa risks him on Saturday, as the Magpies have two Championship games only three days apart in the following week.
Derek Fazackerley speaking to Yellow Player:
“I had six years up there and four of them were very, very special and it’s a fantastic football club.
“We had tremendous success there in terms of taking them from the lower reaches of the Championship and into the Premier League and European places – it was just a fantastic experience.
“The playing personnel and staff have changed but Newcastle as a football club hasn’t changed, they’ve still got the same passionate support, a fantastic stadium and training facilities.
“It’s a club that’s got huge potential but unfortunately at this time they’re not in the Premier League.
“From a footballing perspective, I imagine that’s the main focus of this season – to get back into the Premier League.
“The Cup competitions last season gave us (Oxford) momentum.
“They’ve got the possibility of doing the same thing for us this time and we’re looking forward to the game against Newcastle and it’s a great opportunity.
“It won’t be their main focus of attention this season but for every club involved in The FA Cup, and Newcastle’s no different, it’s a fantastic day for the supporters.
“Hopefully, from our perspective, we can replicate what we did against Swansea last season, put on a good performance and hopefully get a good result against them.”