Sylvain Marveaux insists Newcastle United’s players want to be “history makers” – and see the League Cup as a key priority this season. United earned a berth in the last 16 on Wednesday night with a confident defeat of Leeds United and will now face Manchester City at St James’ Park with a place in the quarter-finals a possible reward.
It is far too early to be talking about ending their 58-year wait to lift a domestic trophy, but it is progress that the attitude to the competition has changed from last year’s experimental line-ups.
Before City’s visit there is important Premier League business, but for French winger Marveaux the two competitions are not incompatible.
He says that, despite the admission from the boardroom that top flight safety is the club’s priority this and every year, they have an acute awareness of the need to bring tangible success to St James’ Park.
Alan Pardew’s team selection – which saw skipper Fabricio Coloccini marshall the defence while Papiss Cisse spearheaded the attack – seems to signal a new approach to the domestic knockout competitions. Marveaux feels that has translated to the dressing room.
He said: “The players take the Cups seriously. These games are really important for us.
“You don’t want to lose any games. You never know, if you can win a few games you can win something and that would create history. We want to do that, we want to be the men who end the wait for a trophy here.
“Most players in this squad have not won anything in their careers.
“One or two are lucky enough to have, but the rest of us want to win medals and this is an opportunity for us to do that.
“Why would we not take it seriously when there is that reward at the end of it?
“It means we will give 100 per cent in the Cup games, just as we do in the league.”
United’s task in the fourth round could not have been much harder, although the pairing with Manchester City does give them a chance to avenge an opening-day defeat which still rankles with Pardew.
Newcastle were thrashed 4-0 but have recovered well since then to make a mockery of suggestions they were destined for a season of unmitigated struggle.
The team’s look and feel is actually much more substantial than last season and Marveaux sees no reason why Newcastle shouldn’t target a win.
He added: “It is a hard draw against a very good side. At least it is at home, where we will have a big support.
“It is a one-off game and we will have St James’ Park behind us, so why should we not think we can win?
“It is different game than the first game of the season.
“We know Manchester City are a fantastic team, they have lots of big players but we will have to be confident and believe we can win.”
United now go to Everton on Monday with Pardew facing selection posers.
Marveaux has a chance of retaining his place after a useful performance against Leeds but Hatem Ben Arfa and Loic Remy are likely to return, having performed so well in the previous three games.
A win at Goodison Park would turn a decent start into an excellent one.
Marveaux said: “I think it has been a good start but then the last loss to Hull was a little bit disappointing.
“If we won the game wecould have been in a really, really good position in thetable.
“Moments like this we have to win – not to lose – especially at home.
“We have a big game on Monday and hopefully we’ll get something from it.”
Meanwhile, Yoan Gouffran has vowed not to let Newcastle manager Alan Pardew forget about him after serving him with a reminder of his potency.
The 27-year-old Frenchman blasted home a superb 67th-minute strike to seal Capital One Cup third-round victory over Leeds as the Magpies booked themselves a last-16 clash with Manchester City.
Gouffran has had to take something of a back seat in recent weeks with loan signing Loic Remy having taking his place in Pardew’s starting line-up.
However, the former Bordeaux frontman’s winner from the bench at Aston Villa on September 14 and his League Cup contribution have come at the right time for him.
Gouffran said: “That’s why I’m here - I came to play.
“Last season I started every match. This season, it’s been a bit more difficult, but I’m not giving up.
“I will go out and give 100% so I can play the next game.”