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Pardew 'desperate' for Newcastle to stay up

Former Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew is 'desperate' for the club to remain in the Premier League.

Pardew will return to St James' Park on Saturday for the first time since leaving to become Crystal Palace boss in January last year.

Speaking ahead of the game, the Palace manager said even if he manages to inflict defeat on his old club, he still remains hopeful that Newcastle can escape relegation.

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Boro fans told to allow extra time for Birmingham journey

Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Cleveland Police are advising Middlesbrough FC fans travelling for the Championship game against Birmingham City to leave extra time for their journey.

The roads are expected to be extra busy with traffic going to the match and rush hour traffic.

The gates at Birmingham City Football Club will be open at 6pm and fans should allow also extra time to enter the ground as all fans will be searched.

Around 30 coaches of Boro fans are expected to attend the game later today, including these:

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Falcons name homegrown side for Saracens

Falcons' Chris Harris is taken down against Gloucester Credit: PA

Newcastle Falcons have named their squad for their away trip to Saracens, with a very English-flavour.

All but one of the side is qualified to represent England, with the exception being prop Taione Vea, who has represented Tonga.

The side also features the Premiership debut of openside-flanker Dan Temm, who has featured heavily for the Falcons' European cup sides and local side Tynedale RFC.

Going into the penultimate round of the Aviva Premiership, the Falcons sit 7 points above fellow relegation-battlers London Irish, who sit in the solitary relegation spot at the foot of the table.

Scrum coach and Blaydon RFC Director of Rugby Micky Ward said:

Spirits are pretty high in the camp but the job isn’t finished yet.

We are not mathematically safe but we are in a far better position than London Irish, and a far better position than we were a couple of weeks ago. We are nearly over the line and it is down to us now. It is in our own hands, we can decide it this weekend by taking points at Saracens and putting it beyond all doubt.

Mental strength is something we talk about a lot here. It is not just the physical side, it is sticking to our systems under pressure, doing the things we talk about during the week and making sure we put into place the plans we have laid. We did a lot of that against London Irish, we knew where they would attack us and we did a pretty decent job of coping with that in difficult conditions.

– Micky Ward
  • 1 Rob Vickers
  • 2 George McGuigan
  • 3 Taione Vea
  • 4 Mouritz Botha
  • 5 Sean Robinson
  • 6 Will Welch (captain)
  • 7 Dan Temm
  • 8 Mark Wilson
  • 15 Simon Hammersley
  • 14 Alex Tait
  • 13 Chris Harris
  • 12 Adam Powell
  • 11 Marcus Watson
  • 10 Craig Willis
  • 9 Michael Young

Replacements:

  • 16 Rob Hawkins
  • 17 Alex Rogers
  • 18 Andrew Foster
  • 19 Calum Green
  • 20 Richard Mayhew
  • 21 Ruki Tipuna
  • 22 Tom Catterick
  • 23 Tom Penny
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