NEWCASTLE United midfielder Kevin Nolan is expecting a difficult night against Neil Warnock’s crisis-hit Crystal Palace – despite the financial turmoil at Selhurst Park.
Palace were put into administration yesterday – the mandatory ten-point penalty they will incur plunging them into a relegation fight. It is a cruel fate for Warnock and his young players, who sat just two points off the play-offs.
It puts a different complexion on tonight’s St James’ Park clash but Nolan is adamant Palace will see the game as a chance to upset United’s promotion bid.
“We beat Crystal Palace earlier in the season but we know it’s not going to be an easy three points for us,” he said.
“Let’s face it, Neil Warnock is not going to make it easy for us. That’s not his style and I don’t think he really wants Newcastle to go up in all honesty. I don’t think anyone wants us to get promoted back to the Premier League to be honest!
“We’re going to give it our best shot from now until the end of the season because we’re desperate to go and do what we said we would at the start of the season – and that is get promoted. If we can do that we’ll be absolutely delighted after everything we’ve been through.”
Although Palace’s problems put United’s recent blip in perspective, there can be little doubt that Nolan and Newcastle need a victory after a run that has seen their Championship lead eroded.
“We know that between ourselves in the dressing room what we have to do for the rest of the season. It’s up to us now, completely up to us,” Nolan admitted.
“No one else can have any effect on it now. If we do what we have to do and do it to the best of our ability, then we’ll go up, simple as that.”
Tonight’s game at least gives the players the chance to erase the memory of Saturday’s FA Cup injustice at the Hawthorns. United are still smarting from James Linington’s bizarre decision not to give them a second-half penalty.
“We said in the dressing room after the West Brom game that we need to come back from this straight away,” Nolan (pictured right) said. “There is no time for us to dwell on refereeing decisions or going out of the FA Cup.
“There’s nobody feeling sorry for themselves – we know we’ve got a massive game against Crystal Palace. Then another massive game on Saturday.
“You can put defeats or disappointments to bed very quickly in this league – and that is what’s good about it.”