Tonight, Newcastle United host Birmingham City in the FA Cup as they resume their battle to progress into the next round under Rafa Benitez.
England’s oldest knockout competition has not been particularly kind to the Magpies of late and part of Rafa Benitez’s colossal rebuild on Tyneside will surely be to improve the attitude shown towards the cup by those behind the scenes at St. James’ Park.
Under the Spaniard, the Magpies can begin to challenge on all fronts and finally have a manager willing to take the cup seriously. During the 56-year-old’s trophy-laden career, he won it with Liverpool, while he’s also lifted the Italian version of it with Napoli.
5 – Newcastle are looking to avoid elimination from the FA Cup third round for the fifth straight season. Challenge.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 18, 2017
Still, there’s little doubt the Spaniard has quite the job on his hands to reverse so many years of dreadful memories for the Tyneside titans in this competition. During the last FIVE seasons, the Toon Army have been eliminated at this stage, with their last win at home in the FA Cup coming thanks to a Peter Lovenkrands hat-trick against Plymouth in 2010.