DANNY Guthrie says Newcastle United can make a statement by beating Chelsea on Saturday, writes MILES STARFORTH.
Fourth-placed Newcastle are a point ahead of Andre Villas-Boas’s side – who were dumped out of the Carling Cup by Liverpool last night – in the Premier League.
While Guthrie believes it’s too early for Alan Pardew’s players to be talking about European qualification, he believes a victory against the Blues will make the rest of the country take notice.
“If we win (against Chelsea), then people start raising eyebrows, but we just continue taking each game as it comes,” said Guthrie.
“As I say, we’re there on merit. We’ve been brilliant this season, losing one league game, and our defensive record speaks four itself. That’s the basis of what we’re doing, so long may it continue.”
“We’ve always been confident. We went to Man City, and they won’t play any better than they did that day – they are in top form.
“If we’d had some luck in that game, we’d have snatched something there.”
Pardew’s side were expected to struggle in the wake of the summer departures of Kevin Nolan, Jose Enrique and Joey Barton.
Yet they have prospered, the team spirit forged under Chris Hughton in the wake of relegation still intact.
And the summer signings, among them Yohan Cabaye, Demba Ba and Gabriel Obertan, have already been integrated in the team and dressing room.
“We’re there on merit – we’re a good team, and people are starting to realise that now,” said Guthrie, who has played the last five games in the absence through injury of Cheik Tiote.
“With 11 men at Man United, we were giving them a game. Chelsea now’s huge for us. We have a good run of fixtures coming up, and we know where Chelsea are at the moment. We need to get at them.”