Newcastle United will face a set of fans that are still loved up at the mere prospect of being a Premier League team tomorrow when they walk out at the Cardiff City Stadium.

And for me that can be as dangerous as going to Arsenal or Manchester United especially if you go into the game underestimating a side just because they are "newly promoted".

Certainly, that didn't really help the Magpies against Hull City recently and it won't be any different against the Bluebirds, in fact they face an even stiffer test.

It is still hard to believe that Newcastle United's top brass don't see the benefit of doing well in the domestic cup competitions.

Especially as their fourth round tie with Manchester City next month is likely not only to attract a full house but also the benefits of TV money after Sky waded in to snap up the coverage today, surely something that both interests and benefits the club's board?

It will also take a lot to convince many Newcastle fans that a top 10 finish should be classed as a success.

A top 10 finish isn't success, it's simply surviving and building up TV and prize money.

The Pink van rattled over the Metro bridge and screeched on the brakes outside the newsagents on a Tyneside council estate.

The gaggle outside the shop patiently walked in and handed over their money before being presented with both a copy of the trusty results paper and a glossy poster of the Toon's new hero.

It's August 1989 and just months after Newcastle United were relegated, there is a buzz about the place again.

Mick Quinn has just scored four goals against Leeds United on his debut in a 5-2 thumping of one of a team full of big names and unsurprisingly everybody wants a piece of him.


NEWCASTLE UNITED served up more questions than answers during a poor show against Hull City.

The fact the Tigers celebrated the win like they'd won a trophy said it all as the final whistle sounded at St James' Park on Saturday night.

Here's just a few of the posers to mull over...

Kevin Keegan's philosophy as Newcastle United boss was all about balance.

The former Toon boss gelled together big names like Tino Asprilla and David Ginola with local lads like Lee Clark, Steve Watson and Robbie Elliott while bringing home Geordies like Alan Shearer and Peter Beardsley as part of the bargain.

Now Keegan has urged more homegrown talent to fight for their places in the Newcastle XI.

FA chief Greg Dyke questioned the amount of home grown talent at United recently but the development pool at Newcastle at least offers promise.

Here are five contenders to step up to the plate.

There aren't many number 9s out there that would admit to being happy after leaving the field of play without getting on the score sheet and Newcastle United's Papiss CIsse is no exception.

The Toon star hasn't found the back of the net since last April when the Magpies beat Fulham 1-0 at St James' Park.

It's a moment that Cisse is reminded of every day thanks to a giant framed picture of his wild Gallowgate End celebration that day at his home.

Well right now Cisse could do with a few more memories to savour after reaching his longest run at Newcastle without a goal.

During a 20 year stint at Newcastle United it's fair to say that Steve Harper is one of the best qualified from the Magpies' Premier League years to talk about what can make or break good dressing room spirit.

Well regardless of any bad blood down the years within the four walls of one of football's most storied locker rooms the stars will be out in force for Harper against AC Milan.

Regardless of appearances between the sticks for United, Harper seen it all during a lengthy spell at St James' Park that is unlikely to be repeated any time soon at Newcastle.

The Easington-born stopper never held back with his opinions during his time on Tyneside but when he made them he did so with diplomacy and always tried to do it for the benefit of the team - he remains an example to anybody that pulls on a Newcastle shirt.


Newcastle United fans eventually left Morecambe's Globe Arena with something positive to shout about last night after a 2-0 win over the League Two side.

Not for the first time they opted to do it the hard way after being ran extremely close by Jim Bentley's basement boys in what proved to be a fraught and typical English cup contest on the Lancashire coast.

And make no mistake we could easily be talking about a Premier League casulalty in the second round of a competition that saw its stock rise last season after Bradford City's fairytale run to the final, and after Swansea City demonstrated the benefits of a top flight side taking the League Cup seriously with some never to be forgotten moments and fast-track European qualification.

Many fans are praying Newcastle adopt a similar policy to the Swans.

Joe Kinnear says he "doesn't understand" where the negativity is coming from at Newcastle United.

His remarks today were met with astonishment on Tyneside with just a week left in the transfer window and no permanent signings through the door and the near 50,000 crowd against West Ham made their feelings crystal clear.

But the London-based director of football responded to negative crowd reaction during the West Ham game by suggesting the "doom-and-gloom merchants" were already looking for "a scapegoat".

It's decision time for Yohan Cabaye at Newcastle United.

We've always known that the Magpies have had a gem on their hands ever since they pulled off one of the best deals in the club's recent history to whisk him in from Lille for £4.8million before any of the so called big guns could even react.

Manchester United like him, Paris St-Germain are interested and Arsenal have started the bidding process by slapping in a bid of around £11million.



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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