Football

Newcastle United Vs Blackpool, Sat 11 Sep 2010

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Newcastle boss Chris Hughton is challenging his players to maintain the feelgood factor as they attempt to ensure they become a Barclays Premier League fixture once again.

The Magpies have made an encouraging start to life back in the top flight having bounced back from something of a mauling at Manchester United in their opening encounter to trounce Aston Villa 6-0 and then claim a hard-fought draw at Wolves last time out.

Those two games, and a 3-2 Carling Cup second-round victory at Accrington Stanley with a largely inexperienced side, have helped to create a similar atmosphere to the one which enveloped St James' Park last season as the club went on an unstoppable charge to the Championship title.

Hughton said: "Anyone who has been involved in football a long time knows what being used to winning football matches can do to a team and a club.

"It is going to be more difficult to get that sort of feel and the stability it gives you in the Premier League because it is a more difficult league. But our aim is to become a fixture in this league.

"We have started well enough and there is a good feel around the place, probably because of the way we have gone about our business in the last three games."

In-form striker Andy Carroll has returned to training after an ankle injury, and Hughton could hand debuts to summer signings Sol Campbell, Cheik Tiote and Hatem Ben Arfa.

Meanwhile, Blackpool manager Ian Holloway believes the next few weeks could be crucial to his club's hopes of maintaining their top flight status.

That's why he has drawn up a detailed plan so the players know exactly what their routine is.

Next up are Newcastle with Holloway anxious to build on a good start that has seen his side take four points from a possible nine.

He said: "We have just given the players a two-month schedule. My staff have produced it.

"They will know what day they are off and what day they are in. They know it will be morning and afternoon.

"The defenders will be doing certain things as will the midfielders and forwards.

"This is the most comprehensive document that I have ever produced in my career and I am looking forward to implementing it.

"We want to leave a mark on this world, so that people remember how well our team played and how well the supporters behaved.

"The secret of this club is that the fans are embracing what we are trying to do. They are in their element. It is quite unbelievable. We want this great feeling to continue."

The arrival of DJ Campbell from Leicester on transfer deadline day has strengthened Holloway's attacking options.

Marlon Harewood could return against Newcastle - where he had a spell on loan - following an ankle injury while Luke Varney is looking to retain his place after scoring on his debut in the 2-2 draw with Fulham.

Campbell scored 11 goals during a loan spell at Bloomfield Road in the second half of last season and Holloway wants the 29-year to replicate that form among the elite.

Holloway said: "We would not be where we are today without his contribution last season.

"We have some hard work to do to convince people that the boy will score at every level he plays in. But I am delighted to be working with him again."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
Newcastle United
Blackpool

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