Geremi wary of side’s ‘favourites’ tag

TODAY’S home game against Fulham is one Newcastle United will always be the favourites to win, but Geremi has been around long enough to realise that much of football’s appeal derives from the fact nothing can ever be taken for granted.

TODAY’S home game against Fulham is one Newcastle United will always be the favourites to win, but Geremi has been around long enough to realise that much of football’s appeal derives from the fact nothing can ever be taken for granted.

Having secured a valuable point against Birmingham at the start of the week, United’s Cameroon international knows it is equally important to build on that small positive with a win against the Cottagers this afternoon.

But while he is convinced the Magpies have the better players at their disposal, as well as home advantage, he warned against the dangers of complacency just because of one encouraging second-half display.

He said: “It is a massive game against Fulham and a club like Newcastle should beat them 100 times out of 100. We know we should beat them, but we are not complacent. Any side in the Premier League has to be given respect and Fulham will not be any different. They have just beaten Everton, who are trying to get into the top four Champions League places, so that tells you they are a good side.

“That is the strength of the Premier League. Fulham will come to St James’s Park wanting and hoping to win and we have to stop them. We know if we play to our best we will win, but too many times we have not played to our strengths and we have been punished. This time there can be no excuses – we need the three points and then we will go on from there.

“The performance at Birmingham was encouraging, but it was no more than that. We played some of our best football for a while in the second half but we cannot get carried away thinking we only have to turn up against Fulham and the game is won. It doesn’t work like that in the Premier League. Everything is so close.”

Nevertheless, the former Chelsea and Middlesbrough midfielder has added his endorsement to the view that the draw at Birmingham may well be the turning point in the Magpies’ season.

He added: “The dressing room was very strong after the Birmingham game. We knew we had played well and we knew we had deserved to win. We have to take that confidence into the Fulham game and I know the players will do that.

“They are hurting very much with the position we are in the league and we need to get out of trouble as soon as possible. A win on Saturday and everything will look better, but we will only be finished when we know this club is safe.”

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