‘Testimonial turn out could bring stars to Newcastle Utd’

Joey Barton fouls Paulo Di Canio with a crunching tackle from behind  at Steve Harper's testimonial  match between Newcastle United Legends and Milan Glorie
Joey Barton fouls Paulo Di Canio with a crunching tackle from behind at Steve Harper's testimonial match between Newcastle United Legends and Milan Glorie

FORMER Newcastle United star John Beresford believes Steve Harper’s testimonial could help the club attract new signings to St James’s Park.

More than 50,000 fans turned out in force to watch Harper’s charity game involving a Newcastle Legends side and AC Milan Glorie.

It was an incredible show of support which ex-defender Beresford believes will show potential signings what a great club they could be joining.

He said: “The modern day game, at Newcastle, the fans just want to be proud of their team and have something to shout about.

“For players like Kevin Nolan and Joey Barton, they are coming back to play in a testimonial because they’re proud of having played for Newcastle.

“And I think word gets around that this is a special place, so you hope in the future when they go for players, they look at that and this place is high on their agenda.”

Beresford admits he was disappointed that Newcastle didn’t spend more money in the summer, but is positive about the season ahead after seeing Alan Pardew’s men pick up seven points from their last three games.

More importantly for the former left-back, however, has been the attacking nature of their play in the second half against Fulham and at Villa, which he believes is the right brand of football for the club.

“After the Man City battering the manager probably thought he didn’t want to get hammered again so he went a bit tight against West Ham and then Fulham in the first half,” said Beresford.

“Then suddenly he’s taken the reins off and had a go and I think certainly at home you have to play that way.

“The fans don’t like the game played slow. They like it played with a high tempo.

“Yes, you are going to leave gaps behind but to be successful here you have to have a go.

“I’m not a manager or a coach but I’ve played here, been a punter here and worked with the media here so I know how it works.

“Fans just want to get on their feet, and it works. As soon as you go slow and it gets quiet, you are playing into the opponents’ hands.”