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Were Newcastle derby defeats down to circumstances?

6 years ago
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As we hurtle towards the next instalment of the Tyne-Wear Derby I think it’s fair to say Tyneside is holdings its collective breath.

It’s a huge game, with extra spice given the fact we’ve lost the last two on home turf by eyewatering 0-3 scorelines.

Some might say that I’m getting the excuses in early here,but I do think Newcastle have been affected by circumstances in those last two losses at St James’ Park.

In 2013 we went into the game three days after having to contest a Europa League Quarter-final against Benfica. The players were mentally and physically shattered, outplayed on the day.

Earlier this year we went into the home derby game with the club reeling from the sale of Cabaye, which I believe had a massive destabilising effect on the players to the point where we displayed relegation form as winter turned to spring. We were also outplayed on that day.

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Now we see a situation where the club goes into another home encounter with Sunderland, once again affected by major problems.

This time we don’t have a senior goalkeeper, a fair few other players are doubts, though not all, and the underbelly of the squad is not producing when called upon.

The players who turn out on Sunday have to sweat blood to prevent another reverse, but we are once again the club with the bigger number of problems going into the game. Maybe I’m wrong, but that’s how it feels at the moment.

It’s up to the players to go out there and do the business this time.

Over to them.

You can follow the author on Twitter @DavePunton

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