Caretaker boss John Dreyer thinks a clash with league leaders Bournemouth is not a harder game, just a bigger opportunity.
The north east-born former Premier League player is looking for his side to enjoy the experience and thrive on the opportunity to go up against the in-form Cherries and get a result for themselves and for the fans.
“I don’t see it as a harder game. I just see it as a bigger opportunity,” said the 49-year-old. “The one thing we have in our favour is that whilst there is always expectation in every game – that comes from within and it will come from me – but from the outside looking in, there is not a lot of expectation on this game, based on recent results. Therefore, there is probably less pressure than in previous home games.
“I am not saying we are going to go out there and give up the ghost and hand them the three points; that is definitely not the case, we are going to be going out there fighting, playing our football and trying to win the game.
“On paper it is a tough game, but I just think it is a great opportunity.
“I’d like to hope the fans come out and make some noise. The supporters feed off the team and the team feed off the supporters.
“The fans have been patient, but quiet grounds are hard to play in, it can make some players nervous, so I would love it if the crowd came out in full voice, back the team to the hilt and I think that would give them a yard, which they need at this moment in time.”
‘Tumble’ was given the job on Thursday morning and set straight down to business, but admits he is treading very carefully.
“It’s been a whirlwind. I’m still trying to take things in. I was told this morning I would be taking over in a caretaker capacity and I haven’t had a chance to think about anything other than the preparations for Saturday.
“I’ve been in this situation as a player and there will be an accumulation of emotions they are feeling. From my experience they can be debilitating, so it is important we put this behind us and look ahead and move on as quickly as possible, to focus our minds on Saturday.
“I’ve managed before. I have been an assistant manage in the last few years, but I have managed before and been a caretaker before.
“I will prepare the players in the best way I can. I am fortunate that I know the players and I think I know what makes them tick, so I am in an advantageous position from that respect.
“I feel as though I have to say a lot, but at the same time I don’t want to cram their heads with too much information and too many instructions; I want their minds free to play the game to win.
“I have to plan my next few hours very carefully and make sure I say the right things to them. It’s a tough one, but one that me, the players and everyone at the Club is going to relish.”