Martin Keown: Newcastle need to learn from Sunderland's approach

Newcastle Utd - Gate

Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown believes that Newcastle United could learn a lot from local rivals Sunderland.

Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown has questioned John Carver's pre-match preparations ahead of Newcastle United's crunch game against West Ham United in the Daily Mail.

Carver has publicly revealed that he had a meeting with his players on the training ground, where he asked them to leave the dressing room if they didn't intend to fight against the Hammers.

Newcastle have to beat West Ham to ensure that they will be a Premier League club next season, and Carver was clearly looking to get a reaction from his players.

However, Keown doesn't feel that the Magpies boss has gone about things in the right manner. He suggests that Carver should have adopted a similar approach to that seen at Sunderland, after the Black Cats secured their safety on Wednesday night.

Sunderland drew 0-0 with Arsenal to make certain of their Premier League status for another year, and Keown believes that Newcastle could take a few important lessons from their near neighbours.

"I’m not sure John Carver assembling his staff in a meeting would have helped," he explained. "If anything it just creates even more pressure for the players. If you have to show your players the potential impact it will have on the rest of the staff, what does that tell you about your squad?

"Carver obviously wanted to get his players to do it for the staff, but if they aren’t going to do it for themselves or the manager then how can you trust them? It’s almost looking like a lost cause.

"But all of this drama is too much emotion for such an important week. By comparison, Sunderland last night looked like they had practised to the nth degree for that game. Every eventuality looked covered and there was a plan to change the game at half-time if it was 0-0. That comes from work on the training ground and working hard for that common cause.

"Newcastle could do with harnessing that kind of emotion and determination to stay up and channel it into their performances."

Newcastle are currently two points clear of the drop zone, but Hull City – the side looking to chase them down - boast a better goal difference, meaning that only a win will be enough to make absolutely certain that the Magpies stay in the top-flight if the Tigers take maximum points on the final day.

Steve Bruce's side take on Manchester United at the KC Stadium and if they do cause an upset, Newcastle could be in big trouble.

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