Yohan Cabaye admits that the Newcastle players were extremely disappointed after they let a two goal lead and subsequently two points slip in their Premier League tie against Wolves on Saturday. The French midfielder warns that they must be ‘fit and ready’ for the derby challenge next weekend to keep up their European hopes alive.
This Sunday is the 146th Tyne-Wear derby as bitter rivals Newcastle and Sunderland lock horns again at St. James’ Park and Cabaye says they need to work harder ahead of the big game;
“It was a big disappointment for us as we were 2-0 up at half-time but started the second half very badly,”
“We had good periods, but we have to improve before Sunderland.” “We have to work hard this week and focus to be ready, to be fit and to be well for Sunderland.”
Cabaye hinted that Newcastle struggled against the five in midfield and the pressure Wolves forced in the second half of last weekend’s game;
“We were too deep. Then they scored one, two quite quickly and after that it was difficult. Wolves stayed well organised and made it difficult for us. We couldn’t find any solution.”
“I remember Fulham. We didn’t lose the game this time, but this was a similar game because we were very good in one half and not in the other.”
“We were at home and you would think it is impossible to play like we did in the second half at home. We are very disappointed.”
Cabaye didn’t have a great game at the weekend and manager Alan Pardew has defended him and Cheick Tiote for being behind the pace as they hadn’t played Premier League football in weeks. In the second half as Newcastle were collapsing, Pardew brought on Danny Guthrie and Hatem Ben Arfa and changed the formation to boost the midfield but they conceded from a free kick set piece before either man got a touch of the ball and although they improved after the formation change, The Magpies never got back into the lead.
After a performance that was lacking in leadership and structure at the weekend, Pardew will likely be drumming home a more organised approach to the game against Sunderland where Martin O’Neill will attempt to end the barren streak the Wearsiders have had against Newcastle where they have lost two of their last three encounters, and drawn the other only because of a late, late equalizer.
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