Newcastle United cannot afford to lose at Norwich City, says Glenn Roeder
Former Norwich City and Newcastle United boss Glenn Roeder has labelled the struggling Magpies' Premier League trip to Carrow Road this weekend as a 'must not lose' test for Alan Pardew's depleted side.
Roeder has been out of the management game since a fractious stint in Norfolk ended in 2009, but the 57-year-old has a healthy respect for the job Chris Hughton has performed since his summer arrival. Norwich welcome the Magpies currently five points and three places better off, with Pardew's injury-hit squad bidding to reverse a wretched decline in recent months that culminated in last weekend's FA Cup exit at Brighton.
'I don't look at this game as a must win, I look it at it as a must not lose,' said Roeder. 'You look at the dial and it's not on red yet, but it probably will be if they get beat at Norwich. Going to Norwich is tough and although I don't think it's impossible for teams to win there, look at the job Chris Hughton has done; it's solid so far. Chris is a good manager and an intelligent man. He's looked at the situation and knew it wasn't broken so why fix it? They are well oiled and he hasn't changed a lot.'
Roeder spent one full season at the helm in the north-east in 2007 and sees plenty of similarities between Pardew's current injury crisis and his own experiences on Tyneside.
'Managing in the Premier League is all about players,' Roeder told the Newcastle Chronicle. 'Look at David Moyes, he is one of the best in the league. But because of the resources he's got there have been seasons where the team have dipped. Everton have had seasons when they haven't had players due to injury and they've suffered. That doesn't make David a worse manager, as it is all about the players.
'I can sympathise with Alan Pardew at the moment. I went through exactly the same thing with Newcastle. Our treatment room was bursting in 2006/07 – we had 12 players who had operations including Michael Owen at his peak.
'In some ways it was a miracle that we finished just outside the top 10. But that is football, it is about results.
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'For Alan now I can see what he's going through. He has not became a bad manager overnight. It is not about his tactics or his techniques or anything else. It is about the lack of players who are available to him. Sometimes it doesn't matter what your team talk is. When you are winning you don't need a team talk, you just continue to go from game to game.'
Newcastle have shipped 13 goals in their last three Premier League games and Roeder accepts confidence will inevitably have suffered.
'Last season Newcastle were knocking the ball about with confidence. You had Yohan Cabaye and Hatem Ben Arfa doing that last season but when you have seven or eight players out injured you simply can't reproduce it,' he said. 'You need your best players back. That's not just Alan. It's the young players, the backroom staff, the fans and the tea lady. It lifts the whole club. Once that happens you pull clear.'