Behind Enemy Lines - Newcastle

Last updated : 10 May 2002 By Christian Kelly

There's two million pounds up for grabs as far as Saints are concerned tomorrow. The money will have a big impact on our transfer kitty this summer. Of course that may not matter a jot to the players who will be getting paid regardless. No one can say Bobby Robson's Newcastle are complacent, even though they have nothing to play for. For Saints complacency has become a way of life once safety has ben reached.

We talk to Luke Thornhill, editor of for his thoughts on the Toon army's season and how things will turn out tomorrow.

Bobby Robson has done a fantastic job at Newcastle when you consider the dark days of Gullit and Dalgleish. How did you think the season was going to turn out for Newcastle ?

No way on earth did any of us expect to qualify for the Champions League. Robson is a uniquely talented manager, everyone remember's his successes with Ipswich Town and England, now he's bringing them to the team which has been in his heart all along.

How far do you think Newcastle will get in the Champions League next season?

We're being realisitic, and know we're still some way from competing with the cream of Europe. However, with players like Kieron Dyer and Alan Shearer we'll hold our own. Barring the draw from hell I fancy us to reach the knockout stages.

I usually ask who we should watch out for, but that would be nearly all of your team. So instead, what's the team likely to be?

Are there any injuries we should know about?

It has been said in some quarters that the game is meaningless to us. Not so, as everyone wants to end the season on a high. Shay Given will be rested in favour of Steve Harper, who is being linked with a move away from the Toon to chase first team football. Sylvain Distin will also come back into the side. Other than that we have no injury problems.

What do you think of ex-Saint Alan Shearer being the next Newcastle Manager ?

He's learning from the best, and so long as he serves a proper apprenticeship could go on to become an excellent homegrown manager for us.

Finally, you prediction for the game ?

Bobby Robson wants to win, I'd fancy us to take the three points but wouldn't be disappointed with a different result. The players deserve a relaxing afternoon.

I think Newcastle will have a relaxing day too, and still walk away with three points. After Saints recent insipid displays I'm going for a 2-1 home defeat which will make the Saints fans livid, although Rupert Lowe will be sure that we'll get the same team into Europe next season.