Newcastle United were level with Middlesbrough at half time this afternoon 0-0, after having most of the play but showing no bite in attack whatsoever.
But after 5 minutes Newcastle scored a perfectly good goal which the referee amazingly disallowed. Emre floated in a corner and goalkeeper Schwarzer dropped the ball, and Owen poked the ball home, but the referee amazingly disallowed the goal – a clear mistake.
TV replays showed the Middlesbrough goalkeeper wasnâ€™t even touched, never mind being shoved. A very poor decision by referee Mike Dean which cost Newcastle dearly.
But we are showing absolutely no cut and thrust up front and it becomes even more amazing that we havenâ€™t improved the squad in the January transfer window. There were no more clear cut chances in a game very reminiscent of the Bolton game, unfortunately.
Newcastle are having all the play but Middlesbrough are finding it very easy to contain Newcastleâ€™s attacks, which are very slow building up. Duff, Emre and Nâ€™Zogbia are showing up quite well for Newcastle, but we really have to raise our game to a much faster pace in the second half.
Weâ€™re not sure what Smith is supposed to be doing up front because he is not winning any headers in the air at all, and not doing much at all quite honestly, and just keeps giving free kicks away.
Hopefully Keagan will bring on Mark Viduka so we have a bit of aerial power up front.
If Middlesbrough decide to attack, rather than hold out for a draw, in the second half, they have a chance of collecting all 3 points this afternoon.
Newcastle must raise their game significantly to get the 3 points we so badly need.
Newcastle United: Given, Carr, Taylor, Cacapa, N’Zogbia, Duff, Barton, Butt, Emre, Owen, Smith.
Subs: Forster, Milner, Ameobi, Edgar, Viduka.
Middlesbrough: Schwarzer, Young, Wheater, Huth, Pogatetz, O’Neil, Rochemback, Cattermole, Arca, Downing, Aliadiere.
Subs: Turnbull, Boateng, Lee, Johnson, Grounds.
Referee: Mike Dean (Wirral)