Harper wants home fire rekindled

09 May 2009 12:11
Steve Harper hopes Newcastle's bout of home-sickness will not return to haunt them once again.

The 34-year-old goalkeeper is desperate to experience victory at St James' Park for the first time this season when derby rivals Middlesbrough make the short trip north with Barclays Premier League status at stake.

Remarkably, the Magpies have won only four times on their own pitch this season - against Bolton, West Brom, Aston Villa and Tottenham, the last of them on December 21.

Shay Given, now at Manchester City, was between the posts on all four occasions and his replacement as number one has collected three points only once, at West Brom, in the 13 games he has played since the Irishman's departure.

That is a situation which must change against Boro and Fulham next weekend if Newcastle are to avoid the drop. It is a series of 2-2 draws at St James', courtesy of late equalisers against the likes of City, Wigan and Stoke, which have proved hugely costly.

Harper said: "You look back at the games earlier in the season that have cost us, like the equalisers against Wigan, Stoke and Manchester City - there's six points there. If we had beaten Hull at home, we would be out of the bottom three, but how far do you go back? We can't look back now - those games have gone. We have got three fixtures we can win, and we are going to try to win them all."

Source: Eurosport