Kevin Keegan, to his credit last night, made some tough team selections and finally dropped both Smith and Duff from the starting line up, and decided to play a more attacking 4-3-3 formation, with strikers Owen, Viduka and Martins all fit.
Kevin Keegan – who said Keegan had lost his motivational skills?
It was a good solid and brave move by Keegan and it kind of came off, but only after having to endure a nervous first half where the Magpies looked anything but solid.
But in the second half the players, to their great credit, came out fighting and secured a well deserved draw and almost took all 3points.
This is what Kevin Keegan said after the game:
â€œWe said at half time to the players that if you lose this game to a goal like that without showing a bit more creativity, then Iâ€™ve picked the wrong side,â€
â€œAnd we got a reaction in the second half, which was more like the performance I expected when I picked the side.â€ “The challenge was finding a performance after conceding a poor goal and the second half was more like it.â€
â€œWe showed determination and character away from home. We were the team in the ascendancy after the break, and we might have won it at the end.â€
â€ When you look at the names on our team sheet we should not be down at the bottom, but we are and now we have to get out of it. Weâ€™ve got to show another side of our character,â€
â€Itâ€™s a different challenge for a lot of them, but Iâ€™ve never doubted them. I have never criticized their attitude and weâ€™ll take the positives from this game.â€
It may be that Kevin’s undying belief in his players is starting to pay off. But we still think they owe Kevin an awful lot for his patience, which has been much greater than ours, that’s for sure.
They owe him their best performance of the season this coming Saturday, when we can and should bury Fulham, and really then have a good Saturday night out. It’ll be the first win we can celebrate this year – come on lads you can do it!
Where’s that Newcastle Brown Ale?