Newcastle United vs. Forest preview..

When you’re struggling to get a result away from home, which we have been lately, then probably the last place you want to go is St James’ Park to play Newcastle.  The Magpies haven’t lost at home in the league yet this season, and are looking all but promoted after an impressive season under Chris Hughton.  Some of their fans views are a little misguided though, if articles like this are to be used as a bellweather (which perhaps they shouldn’t be).

Despite the meddling of Sky Sports moving the game to a very inconvenient Monday evening the Reds have managed to shift their ticket allocation, up in the upper echelons of the massive stand in their Tyneside ground.  So it could be a full house to witness Forest’s improbable attempt to claim a double over to the league leaders, because of course we’ve beaten ’em once already this season at the City Ground in October.

The fact I didn’t even bother to keep track of transfer news yesterday underlines my near certainty we wouldn’t sign any loan reinforcements!  Apparently we tried to get Bouma from Villa, well, we didn’t – however, apparently Perchy – a January target for Newcastle – might be available to play through pain-killing injections.  Lynch, McKenna and Bennett remain unavailable for us.

As for predicting line-ups, anything other than a cautious line-up would seem folly at this of all grounds – but well, maybe that’s why Newcastle are unbeaten?  I can’t see us going for two up front, with Dex likely to lead the line.  The Gunter-to-left-back and Chambers-at-right-back switch seemed to work – but of course, Newcastle have a rather more terrifying prospect on their left wing than Palace, so who knows what Billy will decide?

The Toon Army expect to be able to call upon Williamson, Lovenkrands and Ameobi – with Alan Smith a possibility too.  Steven Taylor is out (principally with a knee injury, but of course also injuries sustained elsewhere thanks to Andy Carroll!).  Despite his misdemeanours he’s still featuring in their team, and the big striker netted his sixteenth of the season on Tuesday at Doncaster.  They’re pretty stingy in defence too, in fact, nobody has let in fewer.

Back in October a scintillating first half and a Dexter Blackstock strike was enough to secure a win for the Reds against Monday’s hosts.  Lee Camp was on sparkling form in the second half to deny Newcastle an equaliser, as well as an offside flag to deny Nolan (correctly), and sub striker Nile Ranger being – well – a bit pap and missing a sitter.

I’m really looking forward to the trip, it’s been some time since I visited St James’ Park, and with an overnight stay planned there should be ample opportunity for a few cheeky beers as well.  As for the game, it’s hard to ignore the respective home and away form of the two teams – it’s difficult to realistically predict anything other than a fairly routine win for Newcastle.

Having said that… unbeaten home record for the season, lost seven on the bounce on our travels, surely there’s a poetic ending in there somewhere that would give Forest an unexpected win?  No?  You’re probably right.  Certainly I think we’ll compete probably better than we have against some – with respect – more ‘dogged’ opponents on our travels of late, but I’m not sure we have quite enough in the tank.

The key for me is how we deal with Gutierrez, Newcastle’s most dangerous creative attacking outlet.  Which worries me if we opt to have Chambers at rightback, because – whilst I’ve been impressed with Chambo’s recent showings – a pacy and tricky player against him could prove a step too far.  We need either him to have an off-day or keep him quiet.  And that’s quite the challenge.

Of course, with an expectant and full crowd, as well as being clear favourites, the pressure is very much on the home side – so hopefully Forest take heart from that and realise they’re under minimal pressure from expectation.  It would be great to see us get our foot on the ball and play again, we did so in glimpses against Palace and I’m convinced it’s just a matter of confidence.

Despite everything in my head screaming for a home win, I am actually tempted to have a heart-led cheeky bet on us to cause a bit of an upset.  Not a big bet though.  Obviously with the over-night stay in Newcastle don’t expect a match-report ’til some time on Tuesday!

90 Responses

  1. Well, after reading that delightful Newcastle United website, I’m hoping for a repeat of the performance against West Brom, to maybe bring them down a couple of notches.

    It’ll be a tall order, but at win at Sid James Park, and another last minute dash to automatic promotion could be on

    • And your websites are any better ?
      Wake up pal and smell your bush*t.

      • As a lad on one of our forums said, sniggeringly – “They sang about “1-0 to the famous team” while anyone under 30 will ask if you were the team Sol Campbell dropped to resign for Arsenal ! 😀 😀

        • Ask any of your fans under 40 if they have seen your team win a cup,the sad truth is no…………….1969 fairs cup ,your still not as big as you think you are.

  2. you’re wrong about the pressure mate,it’s all on Forest as we don’t have to win but Forest do to have any hope off an automatic place.I do hope you can overhaul WBA though.

    • Ah, but our season objective wasn’t automatic promotion… frankly I still struggle to believe that we’re where we are. I don’t expect us to break into the top two again because – frankly – yourselves and West Brom have stronger squads.

      I suppose stranger things have happened though!

      • My God – a reasonable and thoughtful answer.
        My guess is that most Forest fans are delighted you are where you are, truth be told. Boro fans would give anything to be in your position, it’s where THEY expected to be.

  3. ……sorry forgot to say,that link you posted,the guys a tosser and his views are his own and not the views of many………..if ant toon fans best of luck for the rest of the season(after Monday) that is.

  4. The nufc aint under any pressure, but nice try away mate,we aint the 1s that need the win so desparate so feel it is forrest under the pressure myself.7 away loses on the bounce tells its own story mate.NUFC players are used to the big crowds mate,unlike the forest players. Cant see anything else but a comfortable win for the magpies by at least 2 clear goals.Ps good luck in the playoffs mate.

  5. Got to agree with you there that guy is a tosser allright richie.

  6. ssssssssh, I’m quietly confident and I’m sure this is where our Billy will perform one of his wee managerial masterpieces.

    • If we (NUFC) score first, you’re finished.
      If you score first, and we equalize in the first 75 mins, you’re finished.
      My view, and not necessarily the view of Newcastle United FC
      LOL 😉

      • I think you’re right there, if we concede first our heads will drop.. maybe..

        .. then again, you’ve only had one point out of Derby this season, so you can’t be THAT scary can you? 😀

        • Like with yourselves, Derby raised their game, rode their luck, our lot were AWFUL (which has happened several times this season – one of them against yourselves with an injury-ravaged team) and they scored three from four shots at goal ! We missed several sitters, and – tired old cliche – but the ref should have been wearing a Derby top and celebrating with the rest of the Detrby team ! We’ve several times played Derby off the park, and been beaten – a jinx side OK !!!
          He was still a pillar of refereeing quality compared to the APPALLING biased ref at WBA in the cup though.

  7. Ha Ha dream on mark

  8. Cheers Geordie fans… I don’t think we need the win, 5 points will secure a playoff place for us, second was always a bit of an unrealistic aspiration for us!

    Just because I suggested you might be under pressure, doesn’t automatically mean you can’t handle that pressure either… can’t see you boys not going up, and fair play to you.

    I too fear a reasonably comfortable win for you.

    Wasn’t judging all your fans by the link either – unfortunately he’s pretty prominent in the news feeds for you!!

  9. I am On figureing out how to make blogs at the mo mate,so there will be another nufc blog soon, but richie was right about the fella worky who dos the blog.His oppions are not the majority of the true supporters which i very much dount worky is.Why aint forest got a proper blog site mate.Had a look for it the other day to get a bit of banter going with you nffc fans, ps would love yous to catch wba .

    • I like to count this as a ‘proper blog’ 🙂

      Plenty of Reds forums as well as the usual generic things like the Forest FootyMad or Vital sites. For banter then the forums are probably the best bet – is one of the more popular ones.

      Would obviously love to catch the Baggies but the gap’s too big, I think. If they drop points at the weekend and we manage to defy the odds and get a win at your place then maybe I’ll believe – but, if it goes as I think and they win and we lose then it’s pretty much done and dusted.

    • this blog site is top draw mate, who needs another 🙂

  10. Newcastle wrote us off before the game at Forest and are doing it again now, I’D LOVE IT IF WE BEAT THEM…LOVE IT!!! They were arrogant then and got their comeuppance and maybe we’ll do it again.

    Would love it if we silenced the 50,000 at St James and i’ve got a feeling we’ll get something. I’m expecting play-offs for the reds now so anything else is a bonus.


    • That “Love it” quote. Note that the rags never stop rubbing our noses in it ? Also the “Lost 12 point lead” But NEVER do they mention Man U’s THIRTEEN point lead than Arsenal overhauled, in LESS TIME two years later ?
      And you wonder why we don’t trust the rags, who – quite literally – celebrated when we went down, spent the close season mocking us and predicting massively reduced attendances, almost drooling with delight ?
      And seen all the “We were wrong” headlines ?
      Nope, barely a word.
      They just ignore us or blow up anything against us (or self-harm, like the training ground bust up)

  11. Thankyou for the link my friend.Anyway mate enjoyed reading your blog,Maybe you should become a toon fan and come and do the blogs for us.

    This is the best site I’ve had the pleasure of voicing my opinions on…ever, thanks to NFFC, and as a supporter of Nottingham Forest for 40 years, please allow me to ‘dream on’!
    Good luck in the Prem, I will dream on that we will join you.

    • Yeah, it’s a well done blog, not cowardly “remove all comment from other side” like Everton blogs for instance, or the Sunderland Ready-to-go site !

  13. Nice 1 thanks mate.Do you think james perch will be gone this summer?

    • I suppose it depends on incomings really, we don’t have a deep squad so we need to sign before we sell.

      That said, if offers of £1m were true then I’m amazed he wasn’t sold in Jan to be honest! I like Perch a lot, certainly more so than many Forest fans seem to, but I think that’s a good price for him.

  14. Think NUFC offered more than that mate, but dont quote me on that.I see he is your club captain now.Still remember cloughy giveing that fan a clip not a man to be messed with lol.Any way wish you fellas well for your season after monday that is,hope yous make it to the prem as i think a club like forest should be in it.

  15. Aye a wee bit of arrogance from the geordies.And there was plenty of it when we played you at the city ground.What happened then ???

    I think if we frustrate you done the flanks then we will hit you with a few sucker punches.But you have been the most consisyent all season i must give you that,

    I dont share the same doom and gloom as many others for monday I think the reds will rise to the occasion and hold there own.

    U reds ( The Famous Team )

    • Mate, you should have read the arrogance in ABUNDANCE a few weeks back from your lot.
      BBC 606 pages were full of it (in every sense of the word) and it’s got more muted as you’ve been losing some away games, and relying on late goals to keep staggering after us and WBA.
      As for arrogance, it’s always arrogance from the other side, and “support” when you do it yourself, isn’t it ?
      We’ll see what happens. We have loads of injury problems and have players in for a game then out for 3. (Lovenkrantz and Enrique for instance – and Ameobi has played half a dozen or so all season)
      What happens, happens.
      A draw wouldn’t be the end of the world for us, and you HAVE to have a win.

      • 606 isn’t a good place to find the best of any fanbase. Definitely not Forest fans.

        So don’t use ‘you’ when describing nonsense you’ve read on there and ascribe it to us sensible thinking tpes! 🙂

        We don’t have to win at all. Finishing in the playoffs for us would MASSIVELY exceed even the most optimistic Forest fan’s expectations.

        Except maybe the numpties posting on the 606 boards 😉

        • True about “you” but then, you were saying something similar in your piece at the top of the page ! 😉
          Plenty people use it against us – good example one game in the season we SHOULD have won the Prem, a couple of idiots were seen bubbling. the other 99% were disappointed.
          ALL we have heard since, including a dickhead called Michael Henderson, a freelance for the Times is that it was “Wailing Newcastle fans” – even to the point of making it one of his “50 things that is ruining football” – yes, just us. No-one else, despite the fact it happens after EVERY disappointment for ANY club INCLUDING Henderson’s Man U. (what a surprise a creep like him supports Gloryhunter FC)
          Tell me I’m wrong there. Was there weepy Notts Forest fans when you were relegated ? Of course there were. I saw them.
          So why just point (not just ars*h*les like Henderson) us ?

  16. ConnexIV,
    I agree totally, he’s a Nottingham lad and very proud to play for us but if we go to the Prem, all that goes out of the window…sad really but that’s the way it is. Over the years we’ve seen him develop into a good Championship player from a very young boy but I’m not sure about the big step up when we’re facing the likes of Roony and Drogba.
    I’m a great fan of Perchy at this level and I’d love him to stay with us and become a Forest legend…let’s see!

  17. Regarding the ‘Newcastlemad’ article – avoid like the plague. I doubt the writer has even been to a Newcastle game before and is attempting to be controversial to elicit hits. The sum total of his writing is to add a zany title to a story he’s ripped off someone else’s website.

    As for the game – I was at the City Ground when you beat us and was mightily impressed by your passing and movement in the first half. However we’re as different an animal at home from away as you are I think you might struggle with the likes of Lovenkrands, Carroll and Nolan getting massively different service than they did at your place. Plus Harewood isn’t playing which means we’ll have at least one more person trying than in that game.

  18. point out newcastle were away from home then and our home form is a whole different kettle of fish.Think your players might freeze with the big crowd,just not used to it the forest players.That crowd is like haveing an extra player as 15 wins and four draws proves, our players like the big crowds.

  19. Ya spot on there Hiawatha.

  20. Our boys are perhaps not used to the same crowds but our crowds, which are somewhat smaller are very passionate and within two cities of the pitch. We’ll be fine!!!!!!!

  21. Wait til ya players hear that sound explosion mark.

  22. How many do you think will be coming up to watch the team from forest?

  23. We’ve sold our allocation which I believe is 2,800 or so.

  24. I think its going to be a full house then party attmospere.Think the league attendence record will be broken with this game.

  25. You got kylies latest album up there have you?

    Have a great time on Monday NUFCLITE, I hope we can make it a memorable match…off for a beer now!

  26. Whos kylie (tonuge in cheek) ha ha.Think its going to be great game monday mark ps have a beer for me lol.

  27. Sorry connexIv not saying you only have 5000 gate and not knocking ya crowd either 2800 is quite a large following for an away game.What im saying is 49000 geordies roaring there team on is very intimadating for most sides, just saying i think your players and supporters might be in for a bit of a shock when they hear that geordie roar mate

    • It’ll soon be quietened when we score 😉

      Arf, I joke of course. I’ve seen Forest play infront of bigger crowds than that…. albeit some time ago. Generally I would conservatively estimate no more than 25% of the crowd actually ‘roars’.

      That includes St. James’ too! Although, you’ll be pleased to know, it was the Roker ‘roar’ that most disappointed me 😀

      • Thats fair. Forest could have played in bigger at OT nowhere else. Arsenal have only recently had a bigger ground, and Liverpool never got higher.

        I predict a 2-1 newcastle win.

  28. Roker wimper ya mean mate lol.St James the sound comes from everywere just like your surround sound tv mate.

  29. Wish i knew how to do them smiley faces.

    • Do this mate : follow it with a ) and you get a smile follow it with a D and you’ll get a laff. or this ; and a ) and you get a wink. Simple.

  30. Have you been to st james since they uped the attendence nffc?

    • No mate, last time I went we lost 1-0, Ruel Fox scored the goal. It was a header despite him being a midget!!

      That’d be in the mid nineties.

      • You know our spiteful anti-geordie critics – normally other cities “makems” – Spuds, Man City, Everton fans at the fore, go on about our lowest ever average – 16,000. Ignoring the attendances seasons before and after that level. It was the season we boycotted the club to get rid of the parasites in the boardroom to get Sir John Hall in.
        And it worked.
        He brought KK in, and the following season was a 30,000 average in a ground that only HELD 30,000.
        See why we get annoyed ?

  31. You coming up monday or watching on sky nffc?

  32. Me2 think this game monday could turn out to be the game of the season in the champship.

  33. That’s enough NUFCLITE, haven’t you got a girl to see to? Righteo then, afershave on, off Igo.
    Thanks for the banter

  34. It’s times like this when I’m so glad that my great-grandfather and grandfather decided to leave their native Newcastle and move to Nottingham, allowing me to born in God’s own city and growing up to be redder than a red thing. Don’t worry my geordie friends, nearly 3000 Forest are on our way to your fair city and we won’t be intimidated by playing in front of 50,000, as we’ll be making enough noise not to be bothered. Do any of you recall the noise we made at our place when singing Mull of Kintyre (enough of you complimented us on various blogs so I’m assuming you do)? And you can rest assured, win, lose or draw – we’ll still be proud of our team and of Billy Davies. This season has been a success for us, regardless of what happens in May. You Reds!

  35. Show ya age there reddog lol.

  36. Is that somewere in scotland mate Mullofkintyre ha ha

  37. Did they have web blogs then ?

  38. Well, don’t read too much into the ranting of some – theres been a large amount of even bigger tripe from Notts Forest fans too a few weeks back (less vociferous now)
    And as for crowds – er…show me your 30,000’s let alone 40 or 50 !
    But you always get some making ludicrous claims – and Forest fans are no better than anyone else in this regard, so mind the stones you throw in a glass house !
    And all very well to duild yourself up – nothing wrong with that.
    But come Monday you have to deliver.
    Your team, will no doubt try to, Billy Davies will be singing his own praises as much as normal (I can imagine him signing his own autograph and thanking himself saying how thrilled he is by his autograph !) and have ready made excuses when it perhaps doesn’t finish as he (and you) all hope.
    A draw will be OK with us, as you’re running out of games.
    And with the referees association trying to do everything it can for Waste Bums Albion with frequent convenient penalties and an embargo on oppositions pens (as we found out with one of the most disgraceful refereeing performances in the cup – and it didn’t end there by all accounts), you’ve got a LOT of catching up in a very short space of time.
    If we beat you, get yourselves ready for the play-offs with the unpleasant reminder that 3rd’s rarely go up – and we know that all too painfully well from a while back.
    But you’ll learn what a football atmosphere SHOULD be if you’re coming up.
    You know I recall after youi won the European cup- we had been just relegated – 78 I think – and there were two testimonials – one for Peter Taylor one of the men who led you to such triumphs, and we had one for David Craig.
    Guess who had the bigger turn out ?
    There was 34,000 at Newcastle – DOUBLE the turn out at Forest
    Stuck in my mind at the time, even though I was very young.

    We often thing theres some bloody curse on our team. NO team of similar size, or most even smaller have a lack of trophies like us.
    And ridiculously, it’s the main cause of attack against the team and fans – even (ESPECIALLY) from the football rags
    Regardless – we’ll see what we see, eh ?

    • You’re a bit over-defensive there, my good man – I’ve criticised neither your club nor your fans! And indeed, qualify the link I included immediately by suggesting it is unlikely to reflect the thoughts of most. Much like mine probably don’t of Forest fans.

      Oh, and it’s Nottingham, please. Not Notts.

      As for Billy, don’t get taken in by his media persona – he’s taking pressure off his team. A team most Forest fans will freely admit are over-achieving given their experience, age and the depth of our squad. We’re just enjoying the ride at the moment…

      Wherever we end up this season, expectations have been exceeded as far as I’m concerned.

      I’d be very surprised if the expectations of Newcastle fans – which was presumably an immediate return as champions – isn’t achieved either. I can’t see WBA making up the ground. As for refs, they’re all gash. I don’t think it’s a conspiracy, just incompetence. It affects us all!

      • ….effects us all
        True. And haven’t we found that out !
        Just that game at WBA even local commentators were ranting (I was working) and Bob Moncur, ex-Newcastle captain regular commentator normally laid back, was speechless with rage – totally out of character, and earlier he’d said that he’d prefer not being in the cup and not to distract from the league – the ref at WBA was THAT bad, and he’d needed a police guard off the pitch 20 minutes AFTER the game – and Newcastle fans don’t normally do this – really, he was beyond merely bad or incompetent. Criminally incompetent.
        Worst refereeing perfomance since Graham Ashby’s persecution of Ginola v Arsenal quarter final of league cup 95, when Ginola was kicked up and down the pitch and Dixon conned the ref to have him sent off.
        He was never the same player, and cost us the league that year. The 12 point lead withered and he never produced the same. Dixon was booed every time he came to SJP.
        Seriously, I trace the loss of the league to that game.

  39. Just back from a few beers,just ref our expectations.You’ll probably find that most of us would have been over the moon at getting in the play offs and alot feared doing a Leeds.Well done CH you proved me wrong………and again good luck for the season after Monday.You should be in the Prem.

  40. Please forget that awful “mad” website. It’s barely comprehensible mindless (and regurgitated) drivvel at the best of times. How it gets on newsnow I’ll never truley know tho perhaps it’s more to do with commercial arrangements of the “mad” group of footy websites than any respected or representative opinion. Fair play you qualified the use of the link though it was all the same a devicive move on your part. Nowt wrong with a bit of banter tho eh 😉

    IMHO I think it’s a testament to the job Davies has done to get your great old club to where it is – certainly considering last season. Personally I’d love to see Forest back in the big time, if only cos they were always first division on the old Platini stickers (oh ok then, and cos of Cloughie).

    Monday’s game is going to be very interesting, thanks in no small part to our home record, your away record, the usual hype from Sky, and the pressure and expectation of the home crowd. That’s right, I think all of the pressure is on the toon for this one. Huge crowd, sky cameras, only unbeaten home record in the 4 leagues, baggies breathing down our necks and the desire to go up as champions (despite what Harps said recently and was immediately contradicted in the same paper by Simpson).

    I like the look of blackstock he seems a decent player and he’ll no doubt have a big impact again. That said Caroll is flying, Routledge is doing incredibly well, and don’t forget Loverman is due back too. That’s before mentioning Jonas and our back four.

    All in all it’ll probably come down to the first goal and I predict whovever gets it will get something from the game. Typically we attack like lunatics in the first 10 minutes at home so if Forest concede early on I think you’ll struggle for the majority of the rest of the game. We don’t give home goals away that easily..

    Really looking forward to this game – albeit with some trepidation – but best of luck with the rest of the season and I’d love to see you boys going up instead of the baggies (after Monday’s defeat, that is 😉

  41. I wonder is the toon record this season better agqainst 442 or 451 sides? Either way it would be handy if forest don’t put all their players in the box for every throw in, free kick and corner. We ned an outlet to give the defence a breather.

    Who would I play?

    Gunter right, wilson, morgan, cohen left
    Boyd moussi madje, ando

    Tyson and blackstock

    But I’m not billy! Looking forward to vertigo on my first trip to st j.

  42. Maybe we will try a few short corners for a change !! If we draw a couple of defenders out it might help…..
    I still expect a draw.
    It will certainly be a fantastic atmosphere !!!

  43. I have to say that the article from Newcastle United Mad is not representitive of the majority of us NUFC fans.

    I’m really looking forward to the match as I think it will be a really good game – You guys really need to win if you are going to have a chance of automatic promotion so it should be a good open game.

    We’ll go for the win but I wouldn’t be too dissapointed if it ended in a draw.

  44. I am a Newcastle fan, i was just wondering what you forest fans are wary of out of our team? is it wingers, carroll, nolan, enrique, tight defence? i would just like your thoughts on us :)?

    • To be honest thought that your defense was a bit loose. Having said that the entire site are a class above and have that killer instinct + composure that Prem sides have.

  45. I’m off to the game tomorrow. As for the players we are wary of. With McKenna out the side, we have to fear Nolan. We can’t give him any time or space. Wes and Willo can look after Carroll but I also fear Gutierezz(sorry;))

    1-1 FT

    • Carroll is improving game on game, and I expect him to score.
      Nolan hasn’t done so well in the 2nd part of the season.
      Lovekrants is the one you need to watch, I’d say.
      If Guitterez is up for it, he’ll skin your defence.

  46. This is a non fixture for me.

    West Brom are the form team and rightly so they way they have been playing.

    I suppose we have a chance with Direby getting a point up there, but is it really worth it ??

    Get mckenna back and let’s peak at the right time in about a month, play-offs and then promotion.

    • West Brom have actually got less points than us over the last 7 or 8 games. And less goals. A LOT less.
      Some “form team” !

  47. nil nil would have been a fairer result. Why does billy take raddy off all the time? They were scared of raddy. Cohen tired in the second half. All in all i am proud of forest they worked really hard. If we give that much effort we will get promoted via the play off’s. Good effort forest, stop taking our special pole off though. If only dex and tys would have made the most of thier chances………..

  48. Good effort lads ,silly mistakes have yet again cost us plus the lack of a decent striker in front of goal,well done to united for taking there chances,Perch had the Argy in his pocket first half with some world class tackeling,then one lapse and its 1 0,take note Blackstock,lets start with Earni the bloke should not be spending time warming his arse on the bench,as for mcgoldrick and mcleary, they have had chances to shine and failed,sell them in the summer.

  49. NUFC………so called big club 1969 the last time they won any decent silverware…………only 41 years ago,i dont think your as big as you think you are.

  50. Thanks for all the comments, Forest and Newcastle fans alike… especially Pete K who’s rivalling how many words I’ve written on the site now I reckon!! I never delete comments unless they’re spam or mindless abuse, I love to get feedback from all fans involved in our fixtures.

    Just about to tackle the match report..

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