Flood relishing Kingston Park return

Friday 12 April 2019 Written by: Adam

Having played their last home game at Newcastle United’s St James’ Park, Flood and his team-mates are back on familiar territory as they take on tenth-placed Tigers in an eagerly-anticipated 80 minutes.

“I think the guys can’t wait to get out there,” said former Tiger, Flood.

“It has been a good week – a short week, and Friday games here are special with people working all day and then coming to us and start their weekend.

“It’s important to have something to shout about and get excited for, and it’s like that for us. We want to get out there and play, have a good game, get a good result and then enjoy the rest of the weekend with our families.”

Following last weekend’s action which saw the Falcons narrowly miss out on a losing bonus point away to Saracens, and Leicester endure a difficult evening against Exeter Chiefs, both sides come into Friday’s game with big talking points following them.

And while they may have been discussed in detail by fans and media alike, Flood said that the players will have been able to put those to one side.

“There are always going to be big factors in Premiership games, and it shows you how tight it is that those small moments turn into big ones,” said the fly-half.

“There is nothing you can do about them, though, so they don’t play massively on our mentality. You just have to move on to the next job.”

Having put in a strong performance at Allianz Park last weekend the fly-half is backing his team-mates to carry the momentum into tonight’s visit of Leicester.

“I think had we left there with that bonus point we would feel that there was a greater momentum with us, but being three from four and losing to the Premiership champions, you have to realise how well you played at a tough place to go.

“To be winning at half time and to have played in the manner that we did, with the excitement that we did, I think is really important. We’re in a dogfight, we understand that, but we are looking to forward to it.”

Alongside the match itself, tonight’s game has an interesting side note with the man in the middle, as Wayne Barnes takes charge of what could be his final match at Kingston Park Stadium.

Having been under his stewardship on numerous occasions over the course of his career Flood holds Barnes in high regard, and paid tribute to his time in the game.

“I think he’s outstanding, the way he reacts to the players and who he is, he has been one of the best referees in England, if not the best referee for the last 10 years,” he said.

“The way he talks to you, the way he explains things – I think the way he has a rapport with players is really important.

“He manages the game in a really positive way and he tries to get it played in a positive manner, and I think for me, the fact that a referee leaves the game in a better place because of the way he has managed himself and the way he has controlled games is a real credit to him.”

Tickets for tonight’s game are available by [**clicking here**][1].

[1]: https://www.eticketing.co.uk/newcastle-falcons/EDP/Event/Index/1387?