Shay Given was delighted that Newcastle disappointed the many people who were hoping for a defeat at Stoke City on Sunday, so they could get at under-pressure manager Sam Allardyce again.
Shay Given – delighted to prove the doubters wrong
Sam told the Newcastle Journal this morning:
â€œWeâ€™re delighted to disappoint everyone who wanted us to fall flat on our faces,â€ â€œPeople wanted us to fail so they could have another go at the manager, but we avoided becoming the upset they all wanted. We stuck together and we knew what to expect from Stoke.â€
â€œThe television cameras were at Stoke because they expected it to be another upset, that was why there was all the interest in us. We had to go there and do a professional job, although obviously it would have been better if we had won the game. We passed the ball well, but the conditions got worse as the game went on and that helped them rather than us.”
“We created a few chances but we didnâ€™t take them and we had to defend well at the end because they put us under a lot of pressure in the second half.â€
We thought the lads played well on Sunday when they had everything to lose and not too much to gain. The TV cameras beamed the game around the world, but we thought it was a very good game to watch. Newcastle were a bit unlucky in the first half not to get a goal and were a bit lucky in the second half to get away with a clean sheet.
But thatâ€™s the luck you tend to get when you play with the grit, determination and skill the lads displayed on Sunday. We are going to continue to look on the bright things of things at the Newcastle club, but also be realistic about things. Yes, you’re right, we’re not doing too grand at the moment.
â€œThe main thing was to avoid defeat, but the tie is not over yet. They showed some good quality, particularly in the second half and they are a team who are flying high in the Championship, so itâ€™s certainly not job done.â€
â€œBut weâ€™re delighted weâ€™re still in the draw, especially after watching the games over the weekend. A lot of Premier League teams were knocked out by lower league opposition and Liverpool only managed to draw at Luton, so the FA Cup still has the ability to produce plenty of shocks.”
“Weâ€™re happy weâ€™re not one of them at the moment because this competition can do that, itâ€™s their cup final.â€ â€œWe had a nightmare against Birmingham City last year having earned a replay, so there will be no complacency. Those memories are still too fresh in the memory for that.â€
The press will no doubt continue to try to get Big Sam sacked. That would be good news for them because it will likely sell more of their papers. But we think Sam has proved in the last 3 games that he can get the players to play for him, and he definitely hasnâ€™t lost the dressing room.
Itâ€™s not going to be at all easy in January, because we now have two games away at the Emirates Stadium (if we get through the 3rd round replay) and one at Manchester United, so we may not get too many wins this month.
â€œWe as players have to stand up and be counted because the only reason the manager is under pressure is that we are under-performing. Weâ€™ve got to put that right, stick together and start playing better.”
“As Iâ€™ve said before, the manager doesnâ€™t cross the line, itâ€™s up to the players. The team he picks has to start performing for Newcastle United.â€
Well Shay is right there, and our next game is one for heroes at Old Trafford on Saturday. That w ill be a tough game, and much will rest on whether our defense can handle the Manchester fire-power. It’s also about time our own Michael Owen started coming into the picture more with a goal or two. We’d also like to continue to see Lua Lua and Carroll on the bench, so we can see what the young pair can do.
Comments always welcome.