ANDY Cole knows better than most how Newcastle United fans love exciting football - but has warned them that the club can’t prosper on attack alone.
Cole was the destructive element of Kevin Keegan’s Entertainers from 1993 to 1995, plundering goals at rapid rate as the Magpies took the top flight by storm.
The brand of football captured the hearts of the region, and the rest of the country, and formed the basis of how fans want to see the team play ever since.
Current manager Alan Pardew was criticised last season for perceived negative tactics, and Cole admits he’s not surprised by the Toon Army’s demand for free-flowing football.
But he has warned them that ‘the Premier League has changed’ and that all-out attack is not the way forward.
“Nothing changes at Newcastle,” said the former No9.
“They want to win games and whether that is 4-3 or 5-4 or 6-5 doesn’t matter to them. That’s the way it is up here.
“The Premier League has changed.
“There is more emphasis on defending a lot better or you will be dragged into a dogfight at the bottom.”
Cole admits he was surprised that Newcastle didn’t spend bigger during the summer after a season of struggle, which only saw them avoid relegation in their penultimate game.
And he says a top-10 finish should be the aim for Pardew’s side this time around.
“The last couple of years have been crazy,” said Cole.
“They’ve got into Europe and done very well, then struggled last season.
“You would have thought Newcastle would bring in more players to propel themselves up the table.
“They didn’t do that but if they finish in the top 10 they will be happy.
“As long as they aren’t at the bottom like last season.”