Best believes Newcastle Utd can beat Blackburn in Carling Cup

Leon Best
Leon Best

LEON Best believes Newcastle United are in a league of their own this season.

And the striker’s also confident the club can make a big impression in the Carling Cup.

Alan Pardew’s fourth-placed side consolidated their position in the Premier League with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Wigan Athletic on Saturday.

Blackburn Rovers now stand between Newcastle and a place in the Carling Cup’s quarter finals.

Best and his team-mates – who beat Steve Kean’s side 3-1 at St James’s Park last month thanks to a Demba Ba hat-trick – are keen to make progress on a second front.

United will be backed by more than 3,000 fans at Ewood Park and Best said: “We feel we can win again.

“We played very well against them in the league – Demba scored a great hat-trick.

“We’re going to play a team that will have hard feelings but hopefully we can win and progress in the cup which makes the season even better.”

The club’s unbeaten start to the season – which has seen them take 19 points from nine games – means confidence couldn’t be much higher in the dressing room ahead of the cup tie.

“This is the position the club should be,” said Best, speaking at the launch of a discounted season-ticket scheme at St James’s Park’s box office yesterday, where he signed autographs for fans.

“The fans are happy, and we’re in the top five and still in the cups.”

“When you look at some of the players who have played for Newcastle down the years, and the position the fans expect the team to be in because of that, it’s only right that we try to be where we are in the league.

“It’s about right for the size of this club. The fans feel at home in this position.

“They should be because they are great fans and deserve to be there.”

The crowd for the Wigan game, decided by an 81st minute goal from Yohan Cabaye, was close to 50,000, and the gate is likely to be higher when Everton visit the stadium on November 5.

“It’s unbelievable to be honest,” said Best. “It’s good to see what the chairman is doing here. At the moment, the fans are delighted, and you could see by the queues at the ticket office.

“The game on Saturday showed what we are as a team. We showed that we can pick up points and win games.

“When the strikers don’t score, the midfielders showed they can step in and score.

“That’s what good teams do. It’s just a matter of getting the points, no matter who scores. I was delighted to see Yohan score.

“He should have scored at Villa, and I was disappointed for him, but he scored against Wigan. He’s a lovely lad, and I was over the moon for him.”