Stevenage look to Newcastle United for inspiration
Stevenage and Newcastle United have only ever met three times in competitive matches, with those games producing a win, a draw and a defeat for each club.
Back in 1998, Newcastle United needed two attempts to defeat the then Conference side, drawing 1-1 away from home and then a 2-1 victory at St James’ Park. That fourth round win was part of a run that took Newcastle all the way to Wembley and eventual 2-0 defeat to Arsenal.
The third and final meeting, up to this point, saw Alan Pardew lead NUFC to an embarrassing 3-1 away defeat at Stevenage in January 2011, losing to the then League Two side only a month after replacing Chris Hughton.
Stevenage are now on the up and last weekend’s penultimate match of their League Two season, saw them defeat Grimsby and guarantee promotion to League One.
Stevenage boss Steve Evans is now looking to Newcastle United and Eddie Howe as inspiration for facing the challenges ahead.
Stevenage manager Steve Evans talking to The Comet:
“We’ll be favourites again [to go down].
“We were favourites for relegation in League Two and we’ll be favourites for relegation in League One.
“But I think we all [love to upset the form-book], even at the highest levels of the game.
“I’m sure there’s people in the Premier League…
“I’m sure Eddie Howe and his staff up at Newcastle United are absolutely enthralled because everyone was writing about chaos at the start of last summer, the ownership change means it’s chaos.
“But Eddie went to work and it’s the majority of players that he kept that is making the team, not so much the new guys, and he’ll take enormous pride at what he has built in the dressing room.
“We’re the same, we’ll be favourites and we understand that.
“It’s going to be such a fantastic league and for the people of Stevenage, they’ll drive by the Lamex and they’ll see the next fixture up on the board and there will be some big names up there.
“And that will convince a lot of people, who have perhaps not been regulars, that they will see a lot of good football and recognise some big clubs so attendances will be up.”
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