"Pssst, pssst. Take it easy lads. We want to lose this one so we can focus on the league and then re-qualify next year to then focus on the le...."
Newcastle have been consistently outfought in recent weeks, particularly against Brighton and Reading, and have been so lacklustre – for example in the goalless draw against Norwich – that pundits like poor Phil Thompson, covering the game for Soccer Saturday, was essentially on suicide watch by half time. However, one of their number who at least seems to have the stomach for a fight is Alan Pardew.