Sam spoke to the official Newcastle United web site after the game and gave his assessment of the win over Wigan that gives Newcastle 8 points from their first 4 games and a positive goal difference of 3.
Sam thinks the game should have been over before half time â€“ which most fans will agree with.
But he had some interesting assessments of what was happening during the game.
Sam Allardyce – game should have been won by half time
Sam said after the game:
“For long periods it didn’t help us them being down to ten men.“They weren’t going to attack, and that put more pressure on us. But a bit of quality in the end won it.”
“More and more chances went begging, but it was a bit of outstanding quality in the end – Steven Taylor’s pass, Oba’s cross, 1-0, fantastic.”
In the first half Wigan had been willing to attack but once they were reduced to 10 men they brought off Antoine Sibierski and brought on Boyce, a defender, which made their strategy fairly obvious. But there again what else can you do but defend when reduced to 10 men at St. James’ Park.
“It should have been more. Overall we were very comfortable in a good performance.”
“We should have had the game all buried against 11 men in the first half, never mind ten men in the second.â€“We completely dominated the game but found it a little bit hard – there were blocks and a couple of good saves by the keeper.
“Some poor finishing meant we were frustrated at half-time that we weren’t a couple of goals up.”
Michael Owen of course scored his second goal in three days for the club with a really great goal when set up well by the exciting Oba Martins. It was interesting that Newcastle’s players also mobbed Oba after the goal as well as Michael â€“ they knew who had almost laid it on a plate for Michael.
“Michael Owen got that many chances that he was the one that was going to get the goal.â€
“He had the one he flicked over the bar in the first half, he had one in the bottom corner but Kirkland saved it – he always looked the most likely, so that’s why I kept him on.”
Mark Viduka was taken off at half-time and replaced by Shola Ameobi. Turns out Mark has been troubled yet again with hamstring problems which have affected him throughout his career. We were hoping he would be able to get over that with Sam’s training and medical practices. We still hope for that, but at least his absence will give Shola a chance in the team.
“We were down to the bare bones today because of injuries. We had two young lads on the bench.“
“It’s disappointing about Mark, but he’s got two weeks to get over it.”
This has been an excellent week for Newcastle. We’ve got our top two targets Habib Beye and Abdoulaye Faye in – albeit at the last moment. We also moved Paul Huntington (Leeds United), Nobby Solano (West Ham) and Albert Luque (Ajax) out. So Friday was very successful for the club and add to that a win and clean sheet yesterday and most Newcastle fans will be very happy this Sunday morning.
We are and we’re sure owner Mike Ashley, who was again at the game yesterday wearing that famous black and white striped shirt – will also be happy with the good start Newcastle have made this season under manager Sam Allardyce – who promises there’s more good things to come. That cannot be too bad coming from an admitted pessimist.