It got a little painful to watch in the second half last night against WBA at St. James’ Park, after the team had set up a winning 2-0 interval lead.
Joey Barton – scored penalty after 9 minutes
But the nerves seemed to get to the players, and as Joe Kinnear mentioned after the match to Sky Sports News, we started to defend far too deeply, and gave away the initiative to WBA, who are hardly one of the best sides in the league.
But we had gone 9 games without a win, and mind games start to click in as the minutes ticked by tonight, and certainly Newcastle looked very nervous, especially in the final 20 minutes.
The scenes of the Newcastle fans in obvious pain and anxiety as the minutes ticked by, were shown often by the TV cameras, but the lads didn’t give away any more sloppy goals, and deserved the 3 points, although as Damien Duff told Sky Sports after the game, the players made it very difficult for themselves.
Hey – but a win is a win.
The WBA goal was terrible, and we all thought Coloccini had a simple through ball covered, but he didn’t cut it out, and the ball went straight through to Ishmael Miller, who then swept the ball past Given and into the goal, and it was then game on at 2-1.
Another terrible goal for Newcastle to concede and with just 25 minutes to go.
But credit to the lads for hanging on, and gutting it out, even though it wasn’t a graceful win, but we desperately needed the points, and the added confidence it will give the team. Job done by the players and we refuse to be too critical.
Joe Kinnear now has completed 4 games as manager with a win, a defeat and two draws with 5 points from 4 games, and that’s not too bad a start at all.
Hopefully we can improve on that as we get more players back from injury, with captain Michael Owen now due back next Monday against Aston Villa.
As Joe said after the game, we’ll take a look at the league table tomorrow morning, and see the team in 15th position – and that’s sounds good. We could even have been in 14th place and above Everton with a 2-0 win – on goal difference – but let’s not get too greedy right now.
Here’s how it looks:
Pos Team Pld GD Pts 14 Everton 9 -6 9 15 Newcastle 10 -6 9 16 Wigan 9 -2 8
The bottom line from tonight is a win is a win, and it gives us 3 vital points at this very delicate stage of the season. 😀