Former Newcastle United player Jon Dahl Tomasson has praised the club and its supporters ahead of the Carabao Cup final, claiming they are “back where they belong.”
The Danish striker only spent one year at St James’ Park, in 1997-98, and was not a roaring success on Tyneside, scoring three Premier League goals under Kenny Dalglish. Tomasson went on to play for Feyenoord, Milan and Villarreal among others, winning the Champions League with AC Milan in 2003 and coming off the bench in the famous Istanbul final of 2005.
Now his journey has come full circle, as he is back in England as manager of Blackburn Rovers, the club King Kenny led to the Premier League title in 1995. Although he didn’t enjoy huge success in the north-east, it hasn’t stopped him wishing the club well ahead of the Carabao Cup final, as Newcastle take on Manchester United at Wembley.
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“It's great to see the club back where it belongs actually,” Tomasson tells The Sportsman, who visited Blackburn Rovers as part of the Road to Wembley series. “When I played them many years ago, they came in the second league before I arrived and we played in the Champions League. We didn't have a good season in the league but it is a great club and the support around there is incredible. A massive club so it's great to see them back where they belong.”
JDT enjoyed some Carabao Cup success of his own this season as his Blackburn Rovers side beat Premier League West Ham United at the London Stadium on penalties. Ben Brereton Diaz scored a late equaliser to draw the game 2-2, before Angelo Ogbonna crashed his effort against the crossbar to send Rovers through.
Newcastle are currently underdogs for the Wembley final, having failed to win in their last three outings. They reached the showpiece event with a two-legged semi-final victory over Nathan Jones’ Southampton, and the fans are travelling down to the capital for a final at Wembley for the first time since 1999.
The Magpies haven’t won a domestic cup since 1955, and Eddie Howe and his men will be desperate to cause an upset and send thousands of Geordies home happy. However, Betfred have them priced at 12/5 outsiders, with Manchester United 6/5 to end their five-year trophy drought with a win in 90 minutes.
United are coming off the back of an epic midweek win against Barcelona in the Europa League, while Newcastle had their feet up, with all the focus on this Wembley final. If you fancy Callum Wilson to score first, he is 9/2, while red-hot Marcus Rashford is 6/5 to score anytime.
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