There is nothing like talking up the opposition and hoping they set themselves up for a fall and Michael Appleton has done exactly that ahead of Saturday.
The Oxford Head Coach went big with his compliments, talking about it being ‘one of those games people won’t forget for a long time’ if Oxford can beat Newcastle.
The reality of course is that this is a club that is 12th in League One, playing at home against opposition who are one division higher.
With key Championship games on the following Wednesday and Saturday meaning Rafa Benitez is sure to play a much weakened team, just how big an upset would it really be if Newcastle went out?
By the way Michael Appleton is talking, it would be a much bigger surprise to him if Oxford did win, than the 1,800 travelling Newcastle fans.
Summing up the scale of their task, the Oxford boss claims that this current Newcastle squad would be in the Top 10 this season if they were competing in the Premier League.
It sounds like he has had a head start on the victory Champagne before a ball has been kicked!
Whilst there are Premier League class players in the current Newcastle team, I don’t think many/any NUFC fans would expect to be anything other than bottom six if promotion was achieved and no new players arrived in the summer.
Can’t disagree with Michael Appleton when he talks about both the Newcastle Manager and support being ‘fantastic’, though the claims of having ‘a winning mentality’ would leave you having to be vefy selective about the seasons that you would pick out in recent times.
“For me, if Newcastle were in the Premier League right now, they would be a top 10 team.
“Newcastle have got a fantastic manager and are a great club with a winning mentality, with fantastic support behind them.
“We want to make sure we can compete with them on the day.
“If we’re in the game after 70 minutes, we need to give ourselves a great opportunity of creating an upset.
“If we can, it will be one of those games people won’t forget for a long time.
“We don’t turn up when the cameras are on, I was quite pleased when I found out that we weren’t going to be live.
“But no doubt about it, if we can cause an upset we will be a pretty big deal in the media the next day.”