The Newcastle manager, Glenn Roeder, knows that a Uefa Cup defeat to FK Ventspils in Latvia tonight could cost him the star quality his side needs.
Time is running out for Roeder to land a number of big-name signings before the Premiership season kicks off with a home game against Wigan in 10 days' time. Another European flop could scare off potential buys such as the £10m-trated Feyenoord striker Dirk Kuyt and the Real Madrid midfielder Thomas Gravesen.
With last year's Intertoto Cup exit against Deportivo La Coruña still fresh in their minds, the Magpies will take nothing for granted in tonight's second qualifying round first leg.
Ventspils are top of the Latvian league and, having played 17 domestic games this season, they will be ready for Roeder's side in a match switched to Riga's Skonto Stadium because of limited capacity at the original venue. Roeder may give his new £5m signing, Damien Duff, his debut.Reuse content