Mort – We Played Incredibly Well

Newcastle United chairman Chris Mort remained positive after yesterday’s disastrous defeat against Blackburn Rovers.


Chris Mort and Kevin Keegan

To be fair to Kevin and the team they did everything they had to do yesterday but put the ball in the net – and in the end were guilty of missed chances. And then of course to to rub salt into the wounds Matt Derbyshire scored a late goal so we got absolutely nothing out of the game.

We are now just 3 points above Reading who are 3rd bottom and our goal difference is not good, so we’ve hardly got the cushion of an extra point there.

But Chris Mort tried to remain upbeat after the game and he told the Evening Chronicle:

“If we had put the chances in we would have been a couple of goals ahead and then been able to push on from there.”“Kevin Keegan has clearly got the team playing and we were caught out.” “Football is a cruel game and that can happen.”

“If we maintain that level of performance I am sure results will come and come pretty soon.”

“I thought we played incredibly well.” “If you look at the number of chances we created, we missed a couple of open goals and their goalkeeper pulled off some fabulous saves.”

“We dominated the match throughout.” “Blackburn to their credit did what away teams often do here.”

“They soaked up a lot of pressure and hit us on the break.” “You can see the amount of passion that was out there and the amount of chances we created bodes well.”

The good news is that the players played well and with passion and attacked from the start. The bad news is that we got nothing from the game and lost points on a few teams below us in the league.

But we still have 10 games to go, and some of those are against teams below us in the league – Sunderland, Reading and Fulham so it may come down to having to win those games to survive.

At least the lads have spirit and they will need that as we try to get 3 points at Liverpool on Saturday – stranger things have happened.

Comments very welcome.

26 comments so far

  • Ausgeordie

    Mar 2, 2008 at 10:27 AM

    Comment #1

    yeah it was more like losing a normal match instead of a thrashing. Shame we could not score but hopefully we can break through next week. I think it shows we can compete with the higher placed teams just not the top 3 or 4. We have a lot of games against low to mid table teams and should be able to get some wins.

  • Carr is shite

    Mar 2, 2008 at 10:28 AM

    Comment #2

    Let’s be optimistic. We are the greatest fan in the world and we don’t deserve it. Let’s give all of our support to kk and the team as the boys did pretty well yesterday and are unlucky to lose.

  • Dave Atkinson

    Mar 2, 2008 at 10:31 AM

    Comment #3

    I wasn’t there yesterday but I will say this. All the reports have been very positive about the style and aggression of the team and that IS a remarkable turnaround from the Sam days.

    However, I firmly belive that a different midfield pairing, one with more guile and pace will change the results very quickly and this crisis soon forgotten. KK needs to drop Butt and Barton (and while he’s at it, Smith) and replace them with Emre and Milner. Put Duff on the right and Charlie up the left.

    KK won’t go for this but hopefully Butt’s injury will give him a much-deserved rest (Ha Ha) and Barton can’t play next week anyway….there is hope!

    Even IF we were to go down, we’d come back stronger so keep your chins up.

  • Carr is shite

    Mar 2, 2008 at 10:40 AM

    Comment #4

    Guys, I know it’s a hard time to be the fans of magpies. But we Shall always stand behind the magpies in good times and bad times. No matter what happens to magpies, once a magpies, always a magpies…..

  • Hadrian

    Mar 2, 2008 at 10:43 AM

    Comment #5

    Morts spot on , keegan has got thr lads playing football , and if we had nicked a goal yesterday , thats the exact kind of football match i wanna fork out cash to watch at a weekend .
    shame we were on the losing side tho , but at least we had a bit of dignity left after this defeat .

  • Paul

    Mar 2, 2008 at 10:47 AM

    Comment #6

    I was at the match. How we lost I don’t know, it was one of our best performances for months. Why does K.K. play Barton and Smith, they are both rubbish, Barton is the worst player at the club. On another day this would have been a great win but when you are down it is all stacked against you.

  • Carr is shite

    Mar 2, 2008 at 10:48 AM

    Comment #7

    To be honest, kk has done a great job in changing the way the team play even though the results are against us. At least we can see more from the player efforts.. However i am still unhappy with the selection of the likes of smith in the team. KK need to be bold enough to drop under-performing players…

  • Bosck

    Mar 2, 2008 at 11:06 AM

    Comment #8

    i agree that barton should probably be dropped, but to be fair to him, he didnt send through owen for one of his chances with a great delayed pass through the defence.

  • jordi

    Mar 2, 2008 at 11:18 AM

    Comment #9

    I agree from what I heard that Barton had some bright spots in the game and maybe that shows he still has the potential to EARN his place but his overall game lately has been poor. To be honest I’d have sacked him for misconduct a while back anyway but at least he’s out for the next game and someone else (please not Smith) gets a chance in midfield.

    It also sounded like Butt had a half-decent game. I don’t want to jinx things but if KK can get Butt to resemble a Premiership footballer then maybe he is the Messiah. 😉

  • Carr is shite

    Mar 2, 2008 at 11:22 AM

    Comment #10

    Since butt and barton are unavailable for the liverpool match. I suggest the central pairing of duff and emre in the middle with n.zogbia on the left wing and milner on the right. Owen and Martins will be the 2 strikers in the team. As for the defence, I will pair faye with cacapa/edgar with enrique as left back and beyes as right- back. I will bring on the likes of carroll and lua lua in the 2nd half to add in the pace.

  • Mitch H

    Mar 2, 2008 at 11:26 AM

    Comment #11

    Barton showed signs of what he can do yesterday.

    His vision is excellent, his distribution is poor at the moment, but he’s the type of player that will flurish with better players around him.

    I say keep him, we’ll regret letting him go IMO.

    Good performance though, & the SJP crowd were superb.

    Well done the team, we was robbed, but our luck will change soon, i’m sure.

    Also, well done the SJP faithful, we all got behind the team yesterday, fantastic effort all round. KK’s the boy “believe”

    Keep the Faith, Ho’way the Lads !!

  • scott9

    Mar 2, 2008 at 12:04 PM

    Comment #12

    how we didnt win that game no one will no but at least keegan has got the players playng liverpool away next week 0 points but then we have brummies away and fulham at home witch could be six points wich should put us in good stead if we play like that for the rest of the season we will be fine just think what we could play like with 5 more top class players like
    players like that

  • scott9

    Mar 2, 2008 at 12:06 PM

    Comment #13

    and people havea go at milner but surely people must have realsied his recent great form i think he has been plying really well and his deliveries are getting better

  • Ant (Smith and Barton are SHIT)

    Mar 2, 2008 at 12:10 PM

    Comment #14

    Carr is shite 10….EXACTLY what I’d do but maybe fiddle the midfield about…try Milner in CM..he’s still young and with that engine of his, as has been said before…could be the box to box man we’ve been looking for stick Duff on the right and if he’s rubbish just bring on Lualua. As for Carroll…on for Owen with 20-30 mins to go

  • Michael

    Mar 2, 2008 at 12:21 PM

    Comment #15

    Mort should stick to the finances of the club. We do not need comments from him. He after all made the big mistake of re-hiring KEvin Keegan. A mistake he will not admit.

    All this support for Keegan, are we watching the same game, what exactly are you looking at when you are watching a game?

    When you watch Man city, Everton Aston Villa, Blackburn, after 10 to 20 mins just by watching and not being told you can deduce their strategy, both when they are off the ball and when on the ball, Newcastle united what I have seen since Keegan has taken over is a melee. No order, they run around like headless chickens.

    Why did we look good yesterday? Because we looked entertaining, that is why. Entertainment does not get you titles, we know that with Arsenal over the past years and we know this from yesterday. While Blackburn were under pressure they got the points.

    A simple equation Entertainment != points.
    Tactics do, Keegan does not do tactics. Tactics are the most important prerequisite as a manager. It is like going into a banking job and not knowing anything about finance but just being keen.

    Sorry but your messianic hero, is a zero. Mort because his inability to run a football club has become manifest. The Shepherds would not have brought Keegan in that is a fact.

    Not only do we have a Manager who is so incompetent, we have a board equally as incompetent. You wonder why, just why Newcastle is doing badly, well my fellow NUFC fans, that is why.

    Think about it is we had a good manager, a good board making good decisions, why would we be in such a mess? You tell me.

  • jordi

    Mar 2, 2008 at 12:35 PM

    Comment #16

    Tell me what tactics Blackburn adopted and how you’d have countered them with the players we have?

    Bearing in mind this is after the fact so you don’t have to guess at it, it’s known.

    If we had put away any of our (numerous) chances then the tactics would’ve worked. I’m not KK’s biggest fan but he wasn’t on the pitch. If you want to have a go at anyone ask why Owen can’t hit the net on £100,000+ a week?

    If you can’t see that the performances have improved over the dross that was served up earlier in the season then I pity you.

    The fact you say the Shepherds wouldn’t have brought in Keegan (as if that makes it a mistake) makes me wonder if you are just taking the piss?

  • mikeygd

    Mar 2, 2008 at 12:41 PM

    Comment #17

    i would love it if you went to a newcastle pub and read that out to everyone, because then you would get a punch in the mouth like you deserve, taxi for michael

  • Michael

    Mar 2, 2008 at 12:54 PM

    Comment #18

    @ Jordi: Many thanks for your response. I only watched the highlights on match of the day, and that is not sufficient in which to deduce Blackburn’s strategy but I did nevertheless. Blackburn adopted a counterattacking strategy, which any competent manager would adopt for an away game. Every credits us with looking good yesterday but Blackburn’s strategy flattered us, they never attacked us and thus our defense looked surprisingly rock solid.

    Keegan’s contemporary Mark Hughes knew very well that Flatter NEwcastle and Keegan would grow from being bold to rashness, that is why blackburn scored in the last minute. The game was played not on the pitch, but with the managers. Keegan oblivious that this is where the game lay, thought they were playing on the pitch, he simply does not poses the mental capacity to see what was going on.

    Keegan encouraged them to go a for goal threw our Point on the table hoping to triple them and the we became too rash. 89 mins and a goal was not scored surely a competent manager would settle for the point seeing as we have Liverpool next week.

    Also a competent manager does not look at 40 points as the saving grace. Keeping ahead of the teams in the relegation zone is at what we should be looking.

    Three points were not necessary yesterday, what was necessary was getting something out of the game. Why did he need all three points, just to start collecting points again. What, is keegan looking to make a late late charge for the title. What a joker.

    I am sorry I offend your Saviour, all brawn “get up at em”, “get in there” or “dig in” brand of football does not have a place in the professional league. That brand of football belongs in the pub leagues. That is pub football, all heart no brain.

  • jordi

    Mar 2, 2008 at 1:25 PM

    Comment #19

    I find arguments on the internet pointless but some of the things you say need arguing against!

    You only saw the highlights? Without the full picture you can’t claim any validity to your ‘assumptions’ about the game. You even almost admit that in your first paragraph.

    A counter-attacking tactic only works if you think the opponent a) will attack + b) has a susceptible (i.e. slow) defence. Thats us. Every time.
    At home (at the very least) we (and I mean NUFC here as I’m not sure who you support) MUST play attacking football. To attempt to grind out either a draw or snatch a lucky goal from any but the top 3 is beneath us and that would mean we were no better than FSA. The club represents the fans. The fans want attacking football. We attacked. It is that simple.
    The game was there to be had and but for poor finishing (like I stated earlier) we would have won it. 3 points. End of.

    The game IS played on the football pitch. Your comments baffle me. The manager decides formations and selection. If the players aren’t good enough then no amount of tactical genius can make up for that. If you consider Ferguson or Wenger tactical wizards then why don’t they just drag in some youth players on £200 a week instead of paying £100, 000+ for Rooney, Ronaldo et al. Because good players win games. Tactics help to get the most out of the players you have and nullify the opponents strengths, they are not some ‘magical’ formula to apply.
    I notice you never posted how you would’ve set up the team?

    40 points has long been regarded as the minimum points to evade relegation. It is a standard that has been adopted for a while now and I don’t see why you attribute this solely to KK? He didn’t invent it you know?

    3 points were there for the taking yesterday and I’m just sorry we didn’t get them. Our defence wasn’t ‘rock solid’ by any means, I think the highlights may have missed that part…

    And, by-the-by, I’m not a massive KK fan but for you to call him incompetent, naive and mentally deficient without knowing the man, is childish and pointless. You may as well stick out your tongue.

    Sorry to anyone else who had to scroll through that epic post.

  • Rob Kirton

    Mar 2, 2008 at 1:48 PM

    Comment #20

    Jordi: Don’t even both replying to Michael (Troll – Mackem unfortunately). He uses language to put on an air of authority and / or superiority to cover up ill thought out arguments. One day he’ll go away and just bother some other board.

  • Michael

    Mar 2, 2008 at 2:01 PM

    Comment #21

    How do we asses KK? on what he has done, more so in his recent past. It is pointless to descend back into murky depths of time that were the 90s.

    The football model has changed significantly that what one did in those days cannot be applicable in making judgments on them now.

    The reason I call KK “mentally deficient” as you eloquently put it, is due to his most recent track record, i.e. with England and Man city, the latter of which he declared, “the best club squad he has ever assembled”. That squad included the likes of Nicholas Anelka. KK’s tactical ineptness proved to completely counter what is now becoming his fabled motivational skills.

    The two are congruent, motivational skills and tactical (not necessarily adroitness) but competence. Keegan has no tactical awareness, and I am beginning to think his motivational skill may have been overstated.

    Newcastle have talented players, Owen, Martins, vIduka, Cacapa (who has won numerous titles in France) Beye, Faye (Played Very well at Bolton) Given (Served very well over the years and is a class Keeper) are by no means a player lacking skill.

    These are the same players Sam had save the exclusion of Rozenhal. We did well and were poised to be around about Blackburn, West ham and perhaps Man city had we kept big Sam. I am not, I think without taste as a judge in such matters, but it is there in black and white. The results since Keegan’s appointment have been the worst in our history in the premier league. I do not think we have score so few and conceded so many goals in the number of games Keegan has been in charge. If my arguments do not hit home, then look at the stats. If you still disagree then you surely are mentally akin to Keegan.

    I would say this in a Newcastle Pub MikeyGd.

  • tims

    Mar 2, 2008 at 2:14 PM

    Comment #22

    doesn’t it suppose to be like this every time?
    chris, this is Newcastle

  • jordi

    Mar 2, 2008 at 2:20 PM

    Comment #23


    Thanks for the compliment, I can be eloquent can’t I?

    KK’s track record speaks for itself. He managed to save us and get us promoted as well as Fulham and Man City. He may never be the best manager ever but inept? Nowhere near.

    Your comments about the murky depths of the 90’s leads me to believe you are either too young to appreciate them or were heavily into absinthe and poppers at the time.

    We did well? When? With a few lucky results? I can’t believe anyone (Toon fan or otherwise) would want FSA as a manager. The offers are flooding in for him eh? KK not a motivator? What was yesterdays performance then? Did they not play well, create and actually (most importantly) compete to win?

    I’ll take the advice offered on the board and not bother with you anymore, you offer the same character assassination as argument everytime. You keep watching the stats mate and I’ll keep watching the footy. Tara!

  • Michael

    Mar 2, 2008 at 2:29 PM

    Comment #24

    @ Jordi: have you not considered, he has achieved promotion from the lower leagues and never so well in the premier league save the season we never won the title when it was easier to win it then lose it, given the number points we had. Perhaps then we may conclude that he is better suited to the lower leagues?

  • jordi

    Mar 2, 2008 at 2:39 PM

    Comment #25

    Noooooo. I was just going to walk away quietly but then you had to post the most ridiculous statement yet!!!

    Easier to win it rather than lose it, given the number of points we had…

    Who got us those points Michael? Who put us in that unbelievable (and it was) position in the first place?

    I’m laughing now ’cause I can’t believe I’m bothering to reply. Oh well, chalk it up to boredom.
    But really, unless your next comment is something even more insane than that last one, goodbye. I wish whichever TEAM you support the best of luck because with such a pessimistic attitude I fear they’ll need it.

  • Whitt

    Mar 2, 2008 at 6:17 PM

    Comment #26

    Not sure what all the talk bashing the CMs again is about. Both Butt and Barton (and Smith for the matter) played well yesterday, with Barton turning in what was probably his best performance of the season.


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