Winger Gutierrez calls for home improvements

20 November 2010 09:24
JONAS Gutierrez believes Newcastle can finish well above expectations this season if they can turn their home form around.

The Magpies were widely tipped to struggle on their return to the Premier League but they currently occupy eighth spot, despite only winning twice at home this season.

Today's opponents Bolton Wanderers have been the surprise package of the Premier League this season, flying high in the fifth, but with Newcastle's away form seemingly better than it is at home, it wouldn't be surprising if they took something from the Reebok.

After going the whole Championship season unbeaten at St James' Park, Newcastle's inability to win at home has mystified many including the players and the tricky Argentinean admits the side could be in an even better position had they picked up more points at home.

We have made some mistakes in some games at home, but we have a really good team and quality players, Gutierrez said.

There have been too many games that we have lost or not won at St James's Park, which we need to put right.

We still think what might have been. If we'd got a few more points we could be up in fourth of fifth.

It is a bit of an opportunity lost so far but we will keep striving. The level of the Premier League is so high and so tight, which makes the league close.

There is very little difference between the teams. We put five past Sunderland and then they win 3-0 at Chelsea. It is crazy when results turn around like that.

Results have not been very predictable. When so many teams are inconsistent we have a great chance to move up the table.

They (Bolton) have been like us this season, probably doing better than everyone thought.

Win this game and we go ahead of them. That would get us back in the top six with great opportunities.

Gutierrez was a big part of Diego Maradona's World Cup squad in the summer and the winger reveals Chris Hughton is a similar manager to his former international boss in some ways.

They are similar in some ways, the former Mallorca man said.

They always like to care and talk for their players.

They like to listen to their players. So in that way they are similar.

They are very different, but still great managers with their players.

Maradona says what he thinks, we know who Maradona is and what he represents to the world of football.

It was great fun at the World Cup with Maradona as our manager. He loved his players so much. He put his heart into everything, like a player and a manager.

It was unbelievable to have him as our leader. It was something that is difficult to live again because I really enjoyed it and it was one of the great times for Argentina. We will look back to him being manager and never forget it.

The South American also revealed Maradona's prematch ritual of kissing and cuddling his players, but insisted Hughton was more of a handshake man.

Before each World Cup game he would be kissing and cuddling all his players to show how much he loved us,

He revealed.

It was very funny and very friendly. It almost felt like he was a player, not the manager.

He trained with us and he still had some great touches, unbelievable quality. I have really good memories from the summer.

Instead, Hughton, is very friendly, just a handshake! But like Maradona he is a manager who inspires his players and someone who the players like and want to do well for.

He is a great communicator.

He talks to us and hears us and works with us. We play for him and want to do everything for him. But no kisses.

Source: Northern_Echo