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West Brom fans comments ahead of facing Newcastle United – Hopes, fears and reality check

4 weeks ago
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West Brom fans have been commenting ahead of tonight’s game against Newcastle United.

Steve Bruce and his team at the Hawthorns for an 8pm kick-off, an FA Cup fifth round clash that will be decided on the night. Extra time and penalties if needed.

Whilst Newcastle are playing poorly and on an atrocious run of Premier League form (1 win in 10, 7 goals in last 12) under Steve Bruce’s leadership, West Brom fans find themselves at a crossroads.

Newcastle fans are quizzed as to whether they would take relegation this season if it meant winning the FA Cup, for home supporters tonight it is promotion that is competing with FA Cup dreams.

Ahead of the weekend it looked as though the Baggies could go into tonight’s FA Cup match with potentially an 11 or 12 points cushion above those chasing the automatic promotion spots. However, instead they are only six points above third place and only one point above Leeds in second.

If ticket sales are any guide, the FA Cup isn’t a massive priority for many West Brom fans. As of this morning they had only sold around 17,000 tickets to home supporters, with 3,763 tickets still unsold. Newcastle fans of course quickly snapped up the 5,050 tickets they were offered, the sale never even reaching members, never mind the general public.

Ticket prices have increased from £15 to £20 and £5 to £10 for under 18s if bought on matchday, so seemingly little chance of the remaining thousands of tickets all going in a late rush.

Newcastle might have the more impressive support off the pitch but what will be shown on the pitch?

Much changed teams probably for both but surely Newcastle United should have the upper hand against second tier opposition, shouldn’t they…?

West Brom fans comment via their West Brom Index message board:

‘I’d expect a good crowd but not a sell out.

Shift workers might find it hard to attend and those that live and work in places like Devon, Norfolk etc might not fancy the long journey.

Some that live in places like Worcester might struggle to get back on public transport too if they don’t drive or use official travel.’

‘Don’t think Newcastle supporters will find it hard to get to!!!’

‘I know Newcastle are a one city club, but for a Tuesday night still is impressive for them to sell so quickly their 5.000+ tickets.’

‘Shelvey, Hayden and St. Maximim are the only players who would really enhance the side.’

‘I’m dreading a repeat of 1974 (I was there). Bruce will view this as a huge chance to really get the NUFC fans behind him and the team….think he’ll field a very strong side and their fans will turn up in huge numbers and probably infiltrate home areas.’

‘Given the right team and right attitude I feel that we could beat Newcastle, regardless of how many fans they bring. You are then in a quarter final and one match from Wembley. We have an opportunity, let’s go for it!’

‘Our chances will in part depend on what team Newcastle puts out. Looking through their line-up v Oxford, about half the names I didn’t recognise as first teamers, but then I don’t know a lot about Newcastle.’

‘As a casual I am going to this, (despite the 3 hour drive home) the 70’s Malcolm McDonald game is one I remember well, hopefully we can reverse the result this time and if we do I want to be there.’

‘Update on FA Cup ticket sale v Newcastle: Matchday morning 08:50:

Seats available in all stands so not going to do an individual breakdown.

Remaining: 3,763

Sold to home fans: 17,000 approx.

Looking at a total attendance of somewhere between 22,500 and 23,000 I’d say.’

‘That is poor really and a shame.

With us being top of the league and in such a good position with a place in the Quarter final at stake and the cost of just £15 a week after pay day for most people it should be better.

Maybe the love for the fa cup has gone!’

‘Imagine not loving the FA Cup and not being bothered about it, it is the only thing we can realistically win.

If we are not interested in the cups then seriously what is the point in us as a club?’

‘I’m sure next year we will get the same ‘we will need to focus on the league’ chat

…And the season after…and the season after.

Spoiler alert – We’re not going to win the premiership guys in its current greed league state.

The cups are our only shot.’

‘I think the whole club needs to take it seriously, the manager, the players but also the fans.

A 5th round tie at home a week after pay day for most at £15 a pop against a winnable team with us being top of our league it should be a 24,500-25k gate considering newcastle have sold 5k.

if we ever did get to the semi at wembley every man and his dog would want a ticket then.’

‘I was really looking forward to coming up for this one, but its on the box and I have to be in london thursday am, so let me think, cost / reserve team (probably) / get home about 01:00 / club clearly dont care if I do attend or not, so guess what, TV it is.’

‘It would be great to win this game and as I was at Wembley in 1968 I’d love to return with Albion this year. However the absolute priority has to be promotion – even at the expense of fielding a weak side against Newcastle.

With so many tough games ahead I’d be happy to see Bilic giving the fringe players a full game.’

‘Wonder whether Dwight Gale will be playing.

Hope not as I still rate him as a natural striker and would like to see him back at The Hawthorns next season.

He is rarely in the starting 11 for the Toons and no doubt would benefit from regular footy with us.’

‘Watched Gayle on motd on Saturday, hopeless I thought,if we can keep them out and they do have some tricky players, we can counter attack them because they aren’t too good at defending.’

‘3 5 2 would enable us to get both gibbs and furlong on pitch at same time. Whether we will go big ken and austin though if we are going to play Brunt and Barry in a midfield. That would be a slow as team.’

‘I can see them doing us for pace tonight, the second string look to be very lacking in that department.

Barry/Brunt in midfield and Ken/Austin up front. Not very dynamic is it if we’re hoping to hit them on the break.’

‘And that Maximus bloke, he’s lightning.

I was confident before Saturday but that defeat will have knocked the wind out of our sails I fear. I also think, whatever combination we put out, our midfield will be overrun.’

‘The last time we played Newcastle at home in the cup was I think in the 4th round nearly ten years ago and we beat them 4-2.

Was only 14,000 or so there but it was a great atmosphere!’

‘Need to give this a go, quarter final place up for grabs.

If I was offered win the cup and lose promotion right now I’d snap your hands off.’

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