DANNY Guthrie has warned Newcastle’s Championship rivals they face being torn to shreds at St James’ Park by a rampaging United side brimming with confidence.
But the Magpies midfielder insisted Chris Hughton’s side are able to adapt their game to whatever the situation requires as he denied they were falling into the trap of putting entertainment over results in their promotion push.
Guthrie has played a central role in Newcastle’s last two home wins with the 5-1 thrashing of Cardiff City followed up this week by an equally impressive 4-1 hammering of Coventry City.
Although the former Liverpool midfielder has urged people not to expect the Magpies to be able to play with the same verve away from home as they have displayed on their own turf in recent weeks.
“Newcastle have had entertaining sides in the past, but I don’t think we feel under pressure because of that,” said Guthrie, who was preferred to the inspirational Alan Smith against Coventry in the centre of midfield.
“First and foremost it’s about the results. I’m sure the fans would love us to go out there and play like that every week, but in all honesty it’s not going to happen. If we get the three points that is the main thing.”
United have not won any of their last seven games away from St James’ Park, but remain unbeaten at home this season and have extended their lead at the top of the table to three points once again with the hugely encouraging dismantling of Coventry on Wednesday night.”
Guthrie acknowledged Newcastle’s football has lacked cohesion and penetration away from home as they look to grind out results on the road.
However, for all of the optimism generated by the big wins over Cardiff and Coventry, he believes it is the team’s resilience and durability which will get them back in to the Premier League at the first time of asking.
He said: “It helps being at home. Our pitch is good and it’s big, we’ve also got our fans behind us and that helps us play a more expansive game.
“It proved that we can go out and ‘Total Football’ teams, but there are still going to be games, especially away from home against the so called lesser teams, when we are going to have to grind it out and win whatever way we can. Performances like that (Cardiff and Coventry) give you a massive confidence boost, but the flip side of it is that Nottingham Forest and West Brom are capable of grinding victories out. That’s what it is like in this division.”
Newcastle’s lead over third-placed Forest stands at five points with a game in hand, although Guthrie insisted Newcastle will continue to focus on what they are doing rather than the chasing pack.
He added: “We’re the ones in pole position and if we go out and do our job we’ll be fine. We’ll always have an eye on their results, but we know our destiny is in our own hands. If we keep winning they can’t catch us, it’s as simple as that. It’s all about us.” Meanwhile, Peter Løvenkrands has declared himself Newcastle’s new spot kick maestro after beating off competition from Kevin Nolan and Andy Carroll.
Lovenkrands converted United’s third goal against Coventry from 12 yards after another dynamic run from Wayne Routledge was halted in the area for his ninth goal of the campaign.
He said: “We’d had a wee chat in training between myself, Andy Carroll and Kevin Nolan about who was going to take the penalties, but they couldn’t really take it off me once I had it.”