NEWCASTLE are determined to end four decades of hurt at Old Trafford tonight, according to Dan Gosling, writes Miles Starforth.
The Magpies have not beaten Manchester United at the stadium in any competition since 1972.
Manager Alan Pardew, mindful of Saturday’s Premier League game at Reading, will make several changes for tonight’s third-round Capital One Cup tie.
But Gosling, hopeful of starting the game after playing in all three of the club’s Europa League fixtures, is confident he and his team-mates can still book a place in the fourth round.
Far stronger Newcastle sides have tried and failed to record a victory at Old Trafford.
Admittedly, Sir Alex Ferguson will also field a weakened team.
However, with Fabricio Coloccini, Cheik Tiote and Shola Ameobi are pencilled in to start for Newcastle, the spine of Pardew’s team will be strong and experienced, and there’s an optimism in Pardew’s squad.
“We never go into any game wanting to lose or get knocked out,” Gosling said.
“Hopefully, we can keep putting out strong teams, and the lads who play can keep us in the cups.
“It’s a good opportunity for the whole squad. Everybody’s got to be at it and when they’re given the chance, they’ve got to do the business.
“They’re big games in big competitions. We want to do well in them and progress.
“I played at Old Trafford for (former club) Everton – we lost 3-0 – so that wasn’t a good experience. It’s a tough place to go, but the lads will be right up for it.”
Shola Ameobi will lead the Magpies’ line tonight, with boss Alan Pardew keen to see the striker back to full fitness ahead of a punishing series of games at home and abroad, including next month’s Wear-Tyne derby against Sunderland.
“Shola will play – there’s no doubt about that,” Pardew said.
“I need him at his best. I thought against Maritimo he put in as good a performance.
“If we keep him there, we know we have Sunderland coming up – and he likes playing Sunderland.
“We’ve got Man United at home too and he gave them a good old go last year, so he’s an important player for us. It’s really healthy.”
It is unclear whether Ameobi will be partnered by Papiss Cisse, or play as a lone forward at Old Trafford. Demba Ba is expected to be rested, along with Hatem Ben Arfa.