Kevin Nolan

By Anthony Marshall


Kevin Nolan may be serving the final game of his two-match ban as Newcastle entertain Manchester United on Tuesday night, but the midfielder admits he will be "like a jack in the box" in the St. James' Park stands.

The 28-year-old is currently suspended having racked up ten bookings this campaign, and watched on as the Magpies went down by a single goal to Aston Villa at the weekend.

Nolan will be acting as the 12th man once more when Newcastle face the Premier League leaders, and while full of admiration for their impressive campaign to date - in which they are still in with a shout of completing the league, FA Cup and Champions League treble - he firmly believes the Red Devils could leave the North East empty-handed.

"I hate watching, but I just try and give the lads as much support as I can throughout the week before the game and afterwards," explained the club captain.

"I kick every ball, I jump up when we nearly score, I head every cross and am up and down like a jack in the box.

"It was disappointing that we couldn't get the result we deserved at Aston Villa, which I thought was a point. That would have been fair.

"But it's on to Man Utd next.  They've had a great season and hat's off to them. They've got a young squad, but with some old heads in there too, who have learnt how to win games either with fascinating football or by grinding out results.

"They deserve to be on course for all three trophies because they've been by far the best team in the country this season.

"It's going to be tough, but we fancy ourselves against anyone at St. James' and it's going to be rocking because the way our fans are. Hopefully they can drive us on to a great result."

Throughout history, Newcastle versus Manchester United has thrown up some memorable encounters, and Nolan is hoping that Tuesday's fixture adds another to that collection - along with three points for the Magpies.

"There's always been some fantastic games between these two clubs down the years," he explained.

"Just look at the 5-0 win (in 1996/97), then there was Eric Cantona's goal in the 1-0 win for United (1995/96) and how good Peter Schmeichel was that day.

"If Newcastle fans get a performance on Tuesday like in either of those games, then they will all go home happy and we'll be going home happy with the win.

"That's why this league is the most exciting. Man Utd won't be underestimating us. They will be coming here knowing they are in for a game, and hopefully we can throw a spanner in the works.

"It would make for a more entertaining finish to the Premier League season, and obviously give us three points to keep us just chasing on the pack of teams who are just ahead of us."