Saturday 20 January 2018

Hughton's challenge to Magpies

Newcastle boss Chris Hughton has challenged his fringe players to maintain the feelgood factor by dumping Arsenal out of the Carling Cup.

Hughton will make changes for tonight's fourth round clash at St James' Park as he attempts to keep his key men fresh for the little matter of Sunday's Tyne-Wear derby against Sunderland.


However, having seen an entirely different XI secure a second-round victory at Accrington and a much-changed side triumph 4-3 in spectacular style at Chelsea in the last round, he is confident the players he drafts in will do the club proud.

The competition is far from the main priority on Tyneside this season with top-flight survival the objective, but a win on top of Saturday's 2-1 Premier League success at West Ham would build confidence ahead of Sunday's showdown.

"There is nothing that lifts and breeds confidence like winning matches," Hughton said. "Whether that's the same team, a completely different team or whether that's a mixture, it's a feeling that goes through the club.


"That would see us going into the Sunderland game certainly more confident."

The return to fitness of the likes of Danny Simpson and Danny Guthrie has given Hughton more options, while Alan Smith, Ryan Taylor and Peter Lovenkrands have had too little football for their own liking in recent weeks.

Youngsters such as Tamas Kadar, Shane Ferguson and Haris Vuckic could be the main beneficiaries of the manager's selection balancing act, however.

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