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HUGHTON'S NOTES

Posted on 22 December 2006  - 12:00

Chris Hughton's regular assessment of our forthcoming opponents - next up, Newcastle United at St James' Park on Saturday.

Chris Hughton's regular assessment of our forthcoming opponents - next up, Newcastle United at St James' Park on Saturday.

NEWCASTLE is always a very difficult place to go and they are in good form now. In their last 10 games they've only lost to Chelsea, twice, and performed well on both of those occasions.

They are playing the type of football Newcastle supporters like to see and when they are in that type of form, you get an incredible roar from the stands at St James' Park.

Damien Duff is back and getting himself down the left flank as we all know he can and on the other side you have James Milner, so that's two wide players who will look to take on defenders and capable of getting crosses in.

Obafemi Martins also seems to be settling in and is having a wonderful time at the moment with five goals in his last five games.

They've had a number of injury problems but Kieron Dyer has returned recently and he'll make a difference to any team.

What a fit Kieron Dyer gives you is a player who can excel in a number of positions - central, wide on the right or even in a position just off the front. He's very difficult to pick up, very quick and capable of scoring goals. Of course, we don't want him to do too well against us, but we're all pleased to see him back playing football after the injuries he's had. Scott Parker has also returned recently and Nicky Butt gives them that experience in the central areas as well.