Craig Hope of The Mail has a piece today – click here – speculating whether the League Cup tie v. Leicester City next week might be the lowest attendance of the Mike Ashley era. It will achieve that dubious distinction if the attendance falls below the 15,805 that turned up for the FAC tie with Plymouth Argyle in 2010.

Lee Charnley had previously told a Fans Forum the club wasn’t interested in the Cup competitions as the risk a Cup run posed to survival in the PL for a threadbare squad was too great. Despite stating that this policy no longer applies, there is nothing in the club’s record in Cup competitions to suggest that belief has changed. Steve Bruce has made bold claims of targeting cup competitions but there is little faith in his words and especially so given the horrendous performance at Norwich in which the clear insinuation from him of players “not putting their boots on” and reports about his concern at their “intensity” is clear code for an obvious lack of effort.

In some ways given what we heard a couple of days ago about less than 6000 tickets having been sold, an attendance to match the 2010 turn-out v Plymouth, might be optimistic.

Supporters who stay in the house next week will not be snubbing Newcastle United but rather the people who run and manage it. Twelve years of crap looks like finally taking its toll on the most enthusiastic, loyal and resilient supporters in the country bar none.