Newcastle United host Nottingham Forest tonight in the English Football League Cup, this season being referred to in some quarters as the “Carabao Cup”, but known to most of us as just the “League Cup”.

Kick Off is at 19.45 at the Cathedral on the Hill.

This is a competition which seems to have been downgraded in the eyes of fans over the years. Older fans will remember that it was something worth winning about 40 years ago, but these days has lost a bit of it’s shine – as has the FA Cup in some quarters.

However,older fans will also remember that we made it to the final at Wembley on 28th February 1976 against Manchester City.

This was Manchester City before the arab gold came along. They were just like the rest of us in those days. This old git was at the game. I still have my ticket to prove it gathering dust in a drawer somewhere within these four walls at JJ Towers.

As with all trips to Wembley, it was a great day out apart from the result. We lost 2-1.

Alan Gowling scored for us and some obscure bloke called Tueart scored the winner for them – I believe he was at one time also associated with one of the smaller clubs here in the north east.

However, the memories linger on.

I remember that I’d never heard a roar quite like anything before when Newcastle scored our goal. Let’s face it, the Toon scoring a goal at Wembley is not something that has happened very often since the 1950’s glory days!

In those days, they showed the highlights on the telly on Sunday. I swear our telly rattled when that Gowling goal went in.

Anyway, the reason I’ve mentioned all of this is to show that the League Cup can hold just as much magic as any other competition – if you let it.

Is it worth trying in this competition? Undoubtedly.

Could we even win it? Never say never with this unpredictable club. Especially with one of the best managers in the world at the helm, and bearing in mind that the media’s so-called “big clubs” don’t seem to take it as seriously these days.

Having said that, everyone expects Rafa to give squad and fringe players a run out tonight. We might also see a couple of our brighter young prospects on the bench being given some experience of mixing with the first team squad.

That all seems sensible, given the situation with Lejeune and Dummett – Rafa won’t want to risk any further injuries to key players as we get used to life back in the Premier League.

Nottingham Forest have made a good start to the season and will present tough opposition to be overcome if we are to progress. But I also expect them to be using the full benefit of their squad for this game.

Should we make it into the hat for the next round (Round 3), the draw will be tomorrow at 4.15am in Beijing, China!

Wonder what the likes of Alan Gowling would make of that!!

What do you think? As ever, we would welcome your comments, opinions and views below.

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