Chris Hughton spoke after the 2-2 draw today with West Ham United today, and had special praise for young Andy Carroll, whose headed goal on 78 minutes secured a point for the Magpies.
Andy Carroll today – after scoring second goal
After the game Chris Hughton said:
“We showed a lot of spirit coming back,” “And I was very pleased for Andy to get the goal at the end.”
“Before the game it was a big opportunity for us to get three points at home, particularly after the last two league games.”
“But there was a period of this game at 2-1 down where we would have settled for the draw.”
“Then I thought that in that last period we could have gone on and won the game.”
Chris is so right about us possibly losing today, because West Ham opened the second half in a higher gear, and were starting to outgun us a bit.
And then Carlton Cole scored their second goal after 55 minutes, and the defense was nowhere to be seen, and it could really have been curtains for Newcastle.
Where the lads may lack quality they certainly don’t lack fight and spirit and that was the good thing to see from them – they can only do their best on the day, and they just didn’t give up in the second half – that’s the good news.
The bad news is we do not have enough quality in our squad, and it’s far too small in numbers. But we already knew that during last summer’s transfer window – so no excuses this time around.
Hughton talked about Geordie striker Carroll and his first senior goal at the club:
“In this period we are going through with the injuries, a young lad can come in to make up the numbers – but I think he has done more than that.”
“He has had a really telling contribution in the last two games.”
“In the first half at Hull he did very well, then tired towards the end of that game, but today he did more and got the goal.”
Carroll gave Matthew Upson a tough game today, and out-jumped the England defender rather easily to score his goal, and he placed the ball beautifully so that goalkeeper Green had no chance at all – an excellent headed goal.
But missing today was a strong defensive performance once captain Michael Owen had put us ahead, and we again ended up conceding 2 goals at home. In our last 5 league games at St. James’ Park we have conceded 12 goals, and that record just must improve. The crowd of 47,571 were again magnificent today, in their support of the lads, and they saw a fighting performance, if some class seemed missing.
Hughton said the side had to recapture the solid defending that brought clean sheets at Hull, Portsmouth Middlesbrough and Chelsea in the last five away matches, but no clean sheets in the last 5 home games.
“The pressure from our point of view is not to concede goals,”
“We’ve gone through a fair amount of games where we’ve looked reasonably solid and after getting the first goal today the last thing we wanted was for them to come up the other end and score.”
“West Ham were very good in possession and always had that threat with the two players up front. But for long periods we coped with it very well.”
West Ham looked more than a decent side today, and Zola has the side playing some good attacking football.
But they seem to be in worse shape than Newcastle financially, since Gianfranco has been told he will need to sell his star players in the summer, and start building up his squad from almost scratch. That doesn’t sound very good.