FA Cup 3rd Round Preview: Birmingham City Away 16/17

Newcastle Head To Birmingham Looking To Get Back To Winning Ways

FA Cup 3rd Round weekend is usually a tail of disappointment for Newcastle fans with post Christmas lame exits from the competition with weakened teams played usually the order of the day as we allegedly focus on our league exploits.

Thankfully it seems Rafa Benitez has come in and changed that mindset and I think the League Cup run despite its fairly pitiful conclusion backs that up so I will certainly be hoping to see more of an attempt to win this tie away at Birmingham than we have seen in recent years.

That said, with us in the middle of an attempt to gain promotion from the Championship there with invariably be some changes not least because since the Blackburn game we have seen 3 players depart to the African Cup of Nations.

This is a game that needs to be won though and I really do hope we see a team and an effort to do that because as the League Cup run showed it can give you a momentum in the league of winning games but also gives you a chance to see what some of the fringe players can do.

With our current league form we just need to get back to winning ways as soon as possible and today is a great opportunity to do that against an opposition that we convincingly beat at St James Park not that long ago.

The manager has stated that Mitrovic will start which is good to see as I dont think he has been given enough chances this season.

Of course he has to take his chance but I really just hope we dont see him stuck up top on his own for 90 minutes with no service and then get criticised and dropped which I can see happening to be honest if things dont go to plan - Newcastle fans seem to love a scapegoat.

No doubt there will be other changes. Wouldnt surprise me to see a change in goal and then you have the likes of Yedlin, Lazaar, Hanley, Murphy etc and maybe even the likes of Rob Elliot and Haidara back from injury maybe looking to sneak onto the bench.

Whoever plays this needs to be taken seriously - we need a win and we dont need a replay so lets get the job done today and hopefully this can be the first win of a new winning run.

After a tough few weeks I think it is time for Rafa and the players to start showing their metal and earning their corn.

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