Sunday, 6 March 2016

Hostile atmosphere at St James' Park only helped AFCB

There was a big crowd at St James' Park to see the away team heap more despair on Steve McClaren and his team. That the home crowd did not remain patient and quickly got on the backs of Newcastle players which is exactly what Eddie Howe would have hoped for.
Newcastle Utd fans created an intimidating atmosphere
until their own side received a backlash.
It was not that helpful to AFCB that their fans were situated high up in the Gods, but they made themselves heard. I could hear the repertoire of AFCB songs ring out for the whole game and it must have been a boost for the players. Playing in front of a hostile home crowd though can cause the concentration to drift, but Eddie Howe must have warned the side of what it might be like if the Geordie crowd turned against their team. Every pass that went astray was met by a wall of frustration which made it very hard for the Newcastle players to emerge from the pressure that was already on them.

That Newcastle Utd made a bit of a game of it with Jonjo Shelvey trying to rally the troops was credit to them really as AFCB were not in the mood for taking pity on their prey. I have not seen the running figures yet for the game, but the Cherries were swarming everywhere and did not give Newcastle a moments peace. It was a big away performance and I believe most of the away fans expected that it would be that way even before a ball was kicked.

When AFCB are in tune and go at teams together, both in song and on the pitch it is a powerful combination. AFCB are pulling out all they've got on the pitch, which tells me they are not only up for the fight but they are even enjoying it. There have been hard games and some uncharacteristic performances at home. Some of that was probably expected with the step up in class. When AFCB enters a lion's den though it tends to bring the best out of the players and that is why the away wins have kept coming.

There are more photographs on Match Day Gallery.

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