Potter: Empty stadium or not, Newcastle will be tough

But head coach is confident of a better spectacle than Albion's last meeting with Steve Bruce's side

By Bruce Talbot • 20 September 2020

Graham Potter isn’t sure whether facing Newcastle at an empty St James’s Park today gives his side any advantage.

But he is confident that the Premier League tussle with Steve Bruce’s team will be more entertaining than their last meeting.

Normally, Albion would be facing Newcastle in front of 50,000 passionate home fans, especially after Bruce’s side began the season with a 2-0 victory over West Ham United last weekend.

That was one of six away wins on matchday one in the Premier League, prompting a school of thought that it is easier for teams playing behind closed doors to visit grounds where they would normally expect a hostile atmosphere and get a positive result.

Potter said, "I think it's always difficult to predict. Sometimes the home crowd is really with you, sometimes the home crowd get nervous and then it can be a good time to go away from home.

By Paul Hazlewood
Albion's trip to Newcastle will have to be rearranged.

“We just have to get on with it, it's the same for everyone and we are all dealing with the situation.

“But ultimately Newcastle have got some good players and they've invested well during the transfer window. It's going to be a difficult game.”

Albion secured their Premier League safety when the teams met at the Amex in July but the goalless draw between two tired teams hasn’t lingered long in Potter’s memory.

“I would hope Sunday will be a better game. I don't think it could get any less eventful to be honest,” said the head coach. “It wasn’t a classic, but we got the point we needed. Hopefully today will be a better spectacle, I’m pretty sure it will be.”

There’s a quick turnaround for Potter’s squad who head back north on Wednesday to face Preston at Deepdale in the Carabao Cup, although the manager insists a busy schedule should be embraced and not feared.

He said, "It's a challenge that we relish. Of course, it is demanding but we are very fortunate to be preparing to play football matches. We get on with it, do our best and enjoy the challenge.”