Newcastle United facing a hungry West Brom side

Words by Kevin Doocey on .

### Di Matteo - Will become a successful boss

When Newcastle United travel to West Bromich Albion to tackle the first game of the Championship season, all eyes will be on The Hawthorns as tabloids alike will look to exert even more pressure on an already beleaguered NUFC. It's rather unfortunate that we face such stern opposition in our first game , although if I was to call West Brom stern opposition last year I'd begin to laugh. This is reality now though, we're facing probable Premier League promotion pushers that have strengthened the squad considerably. As I reported last month, they had already signed a few of our targets, none less than Simon Cox. Now it seems they could well field Joe mattock against us on Saturday, but although maybe not a transfer target, certainly a considerable one.

If Newcastle are to come away with 3 points tomorrow, first of all, it would be very surprising. The players showed very little fight on the final day of the season against Villa where we got relegated so it shudders to think what performance they'll give us on the opening game of their domestic campaign. The main focus will be on the starting eleven and who will play where. We hoped, when we were relegated that there would be a total overhaul of players with plenty of new players, on low wages, in. However what we got, unsurprisingly was 7 departures and no new signings. The likes of Fabricio Coloccini, Jonas Gutierrez, Jose Enrique, Kevin Nolan, Damien Duff and Ryan Taylor will all line out tomorrow. Sadly, their effort doesn't match their wage cheque each week.

I am often asked who I think will perform in the Championship and it's disheartening to say there's not many who spring to mind. My pick for tomorrow will be Kevin Nolan. I think he might just nip a goal and generally have an all round good performance. Then again I could be wrong and he might have a shocker, which wouldn't be surprising. West Brom manager, Roberto di Matteo spoke of his respect for Newcastle and claimed that they don't expect and easy roll-over

‘There is a saying ‘a wounded beast is a dangerous beast’ so we've got to be careful.

‘There's enough quality in their team and we have to put in a very good performance on Saturday.

I think he's being overly generous there but we hope he's right and that the lads do come out and fight like dogs. If they can do that for 46 games and hopefully some new faces come in, with Shearer appointed sooner rather than later, then we mightn't be as frustrated at the end of the season.

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