Leicester City boss makes big St James’ Park atmosphere claim ahead of Newcastle United clash

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Leicester City visit St James’ Park on Monday night.

Leicester City manager Dean Smith has described Newcastle United supporters as a “partisan fanbase” ahead of Monday night’s meeting at St James’ Park.

The tables have turned when it comes to both clubs’ recent success. The Foxes won the FA Cup two years ago but are now on the brink of Premier League relegation. United, meanwhile, are one win away from securing Champions League football for the first time since 2003.

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Smith’s side must get a result on Tyneside to keep their survival hopes alive.

“It’s a very partisan fanbase who’ll make it extremely hard for the first 15 or 20 minutes,” said Smith. “If they get their tails up, they’ll be extremely hard. Our job is to stifle that, with and without the ball, by going there to try and win the game.”

Leicester City manager Dean Smith. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)Leicester City manager Dean Smith. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Leicester City manager Dean Smith. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images) | Getty Images

Smith wants his players to frustrate Newcastle in what he described as a cup final.

He said: “I think we made it difficult for teams when we came into the club, and that’s what we have to do now. We need to be hard to beat first and foremost then show our qualities when we get the ball.

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“Newcastle have had a fantastic season. They’ve got a fantastic head coach who I was coming up against in League One nine or 10 years ago. I’ve got a lot of respect for Eddie [Howe] and what he’s done there.

“This is our cup final and we know what we have to do.”

Leicester were booed off at half-time during their 3-0 defeat at home to Liverpool last Monday. If results go against Smith’s men over the weekend, they could be relegated at St James’ Park.

“I don’t like playing on the Monday after games, especially when there are only two games remaining,” Smith said. “We’re preparing for Newcastle now and I don’t want to suddenly change tactics. We will have to see what the results are.

“One thing we do is we need at least a point from Newcastle at this present moment. It’s out of our hands because if other teams get the results there is nothing we can do. We just have to concentrate on Newcastle, ourselves and get the win.”

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