Tough This Year? Harper Had Better Brace Himself!
Steve Harper says life in the Championship has been tough. But, let's face it, it was a doddle compared to the disaster of last season. We have the biggest squad in the Championship by a country mile, and taking nothing away from the players, that squad has done us proud. But being a big fish in a little pond may have its difficulties, but next season will show us where we REALLY are in terms of ability and talent. Can we stay up? As long as we trim and replace the average player with someone better ... of course we will. And the beauty is ... there are four or five clubs in the Premiership with a lot more problems than ourselves. Steve Harper: "When you have got 23 games at home in front of a massive crowd full of expectation and 23 cup finals away from home, it's very tough. "People say, 'Newcastle United, this sort of budget, big club, should bounce back', but this is a very tough league. "There are some very good players in this league who deserve the opportunity to play Premier League football and who want to play Premier League football next year. "It's great that we will receive the trophy in front of a full house on Saturday - but nobody wants to pick it up after a defeat, after the Lord Mayor's Show, or whatever. "We will be looking to come out flying on Saturday, put on a good display and rightfully pick up a trophy that everybody at the football club deserves."
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