Newcastle’s interim manager Joe Kinnear rightly praised the great character of his players last night after fighting back into the game, after being one goal down and left with 10 men from the 12th minute on.
Joe Kinnear with Chris Hughton – got players inspired again
Joe told the official site today:
“We were under severe pressure for a lot of the game,” “We’ve had to battle and hold on for the last half an hour.” “We were under siege and showed great character and we could have nicked it. We created a couple of clear-cut chances.”
“Overall I was delighted. We always want maximum points and we need points with the position we are in.” “But we have had two tough games and have come out of them unbeaten with a lot of credit.”
We got good performances from almost all the lads but Joe wanted to pick out his two forwards, Martins and Ameobi, who both had good games and played their hearts out for the cause.
“Oba did exceptionally well – he ran himself into the ground.” “The same with Shola up front: he was up there by himself fighting away.”
“I thought the reception was very good tonight,” “It was a new thing tonight for me to experience and I thoroughly enjoyed it.”
We expected Oba to give everything he had, and so he did, bless his heart – no wonder this boy is a favorite on Tyneside, and we have to keep him, because he epitomizes the Geordie spirit. To remember this was Oba’s first game back for a while was unbelievable, since he seemed very sharp and gave his usual all action performance.
And Shola Ameobi – well, what can we say? He’s no longer a youngster but he gave Richard Dunne and the Manchester City defense all they could handle starting off with a nice elbow into Dunne’s face very early in the game, and you somehow knew that Joe told him to rough up the City defense. And that’s what he did to very good effect.
Shola is a big lad, who lacks some confidence, but Joe has instilled that in him it seems, and the striker gave an excellent display last night. The Newcastle faithful also were warm in their acknowledgement of him, with a great reception when he was replaced by young Andy Carroll, so they certainly haven’t given up on him.
If he can get his head straight everybody knows Shola is a good player, and we expect he must start against Sunderland on Saturday, where he has had some of his best games for the club.
The only thing missing last night was the win, and our hearts sank when the City equalizer went in – after the lads had held out so magnificently. But you can hardly fault their performance given the difficult circumstances.