Clarky Wants Fulham And Toon To Draw!

Last updated : 19 January 2012 By Footy Mad - Editor


Lee Clark: “This is a game that certainly divides my loyalties.

“Both clubs are close to my heart and I enjoyed a successful time in the colours of both.

“Newcastle are my boyhood team, and to have come up through the ranks there and broken into the first team as a youngster was very special. We’d been out of the top-flight for four seasons, and I was part of the side that got back up there – and subsequently twice finished as runners up in the Premier League.

“Those were very exciting times, but so too were the ones I spent with Fulham. Again, I found myself in a very similar position, and like Newcastle all those years before, Fulham were a club on the up.

“Winning promotion at the end of the 2000/01 campaign was one of the highlights of my career – and again, it was a very exciting period. Since then the club has gone from strength-to-strength, and today, both teams stand as two solid Premier League outfits – which is great to see.

"As regards to Newcastle, I was someone that came from the very terraces of the club.

“As a result, I like to think that the fans could relate to me. Okay, I would make the odd mistake and was certainly not immune to an off day, but I think the fans always appreciated my commitment and knew that I understood what they wanted.

“Both sets of supporters respected those qualities. I could play a bit too, which helped, but first and foremost I think they always appreciated my honesty.

“If you look at games between the two in recent years, you’d say that Fulham had the edge, especially at home.

“They are a difficult team to get the better of at the Cottage and despite the defeat at Blackburn last weekend, they had been doing pretty well of late too. The defeat of Arsenal was brilliant.

“But on the whole, it has been a bit of a mixed season for them, but let’s not forget that it has also been a long one too, what with their early involvement in the Europa League. There’s been a few disappointing results along the way, but at the same time, they’ve also recorded some fantastic victories too – so that shows what they are capable of.

“Newcastle are having an unbelievable season so far and Alan Pardew has got them playing some terrific football. Despite what might be going on or said elsewhere, the manager and the players have kept their heads down and they’ve been rewarded as a result.

“When you take everything into account, for me, they have been the League’s star performers and it could be a very successful season for them. They’ll certainly miss Demba Ba and Cheick Tiote who are away at the African Cup of Nations, but saying that, they did well against QPR.

“When you look at this game, it looks set to be a very even contest in the sense that Fulham are strong at home and Newcastle are bang in form. It’s a difficult one to call really, although I would say that there will be decent football on show.

“Put it this way, when the final whistle goes it wouldn’t break my heart to find out that it had been a draw.”