You're supposed to be at home!

By Lee Ryder on Feb 15, 07 03:07 PM

Finding a Zulte Waregem fan in Ghent isn't easy.

That's probably because the team aren't from here and historically aren't a big club.

In fact locals in Ghent have been branding them a "little team from the countryside" during our stay in Belgium and in the land of cliche that basically means that their tie with Newcastle United is therefore their "cup final".

So exactly who is turning up tonight?

For me this game is going to be a little like our FA Cup tie against Stevenage Borough back in 1998.

That's not because it is being played at a stadium made of sticky back plastic and old cereal boxes, it's because apart from loyal Zulte fans the rest of the crowd will be made up of genuine football fans and well wishers.

Back then West Ham, Spurs and Arsenal fans all gatecrashed the party to cheer on the plucky part-timers and it's going to be deja vu here.

So we are going to have Standard Liege, Royal Antwerp and Ghent fans and anyone else who want to roar them on later.

The picturesque city of Ghent is rammed with students too and that means it's going to be more or less a full house of about 13,000 later.

Bars and cafes and the usual flag sellers and hot dog sellers were putting their finishing touches to what they hope will be a profitable event.

Let's hope we give them their custom and book our place in the last 16.


will rickerby said:

after two hours of trying to get through st james , i managed to get tickets for the boro game their web site also crashed with the surge. should be a good game


Lee Ryder

Lee Ryder - Proudly born and bred on Tyneside, the Chronicle's chief sports writer has followed the fortunes of the club over the last three decades as a Toon fan and football writer.

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