Newcastle Town Preview and Team News
Sheffield FC (20th) host Newcastle Town (7th) on Saturday in this Evo-Stik First Division South clash at The Home of Football, writes Luke Phelps, whilst The Star's Paul Webster caught up with SFC Manager Mark Shaw to review midweek's loss at home to Frickley and give his thought around this weekend's game.
The home side are slowly crawling to safety after a positive 2-2 draw away to Stamford last time out in the league.
Sheffield are without a win in 3 league games now, and have won just 2 of the last 13 games.
Manager Mark Shaw will be looking to build on Sheffield's home form, who have taken 8 points from a possible 16 at home this season.
Newcastle Town come into this match with good form, beating Gresley last time out and losing just 1 of the last 9 games in all competitions.
The visitors have been tough to beat on the road, losing just 2 all season and picking up 9 points.
Sheffield and Newcastle played three times last season, of which Newcastle won twice and Sheffield once - Newcastle won at The Home of Football 2-1.
Despite being in 7th place, Newcastle have only scored 23 all season - 2 less than Sheffield - but have conceded 19 - exactly half of the amount of goals conceded by Sheffield in the league this season.
Club were knocked out of the Senior Cup 3-0 by Frickley Athletic earlier in the week, but Shaw says there are far more pressing matters at the moment. “The cups are not high on my list of priorities we have bigger fish to fry at the moment,” he said.
“We need to concentrate on looking where we’ll be picking up points and pulling away from the relegation area. We’re still playing catch up, there is a lot of work to do, we know that, but we’ve got a group of players that on paper are very good. We gained a good point at Stamford last weekend where we had five players making their debuts and we also had Andy Gascoigne back, but he hasn’t played for a month so it’s going to be a little disjointed."
“It will take time while the players get to know one another so I hope people have the patience and can see what we’re trying to achieve here.”
Shaw had no complaints about the defeat against Frickley. “We made loads of changes to give players a game and give me the opportunity have a look at them, but I’ll not make that as an excuse.
“Frickley came here and played at a high tempo and deserved the win. We didn’t put up much of a fight which is disappointing. When you lose game as a manager you have to eat humble pie”
Shaw is looking forward to the visit of Newcastle but knows it will be another tough game.
“They’re a top side that play good football, so it will be another hard game. We’re at home so from my point of view it’s a game where we need we need to pick up three-points.”
One to Watch: Jordan Cole.
The former Port Vale striker has been in prolific form this season, netting 8 times - 4 of which came in a single league game against Spalding earlier in the season. The striker is something of a free-kick specialist, and is often used as an impact substitute late on in games.
Team news: Sheffield FC.
Shaw has four players hoping for a return on Saturday. Goalkeeper Laurence Bilboe is due to make a comeback after being out injured, as too is Alex Brown who sustained a head injury in the 2-2 draw at Stamford.
Meanwhile, Grant Ryan is available for selection after suspension, and midfielder Adam Chapman could make his first start of the season. Defender Richard Adams misses out through suspension.
Location: The Home of Football.