Captain Nicky Butt enjoyed another good day at the office on Saturday, and worked well to completely control midfield against WBA, alongside Kevin Nolan, that formed the basis of the vital win for the Magpies.
Nicky Butt – completely controlled midfield on Saturday
Saturday was also the first double we’ve achieved this year, and the first double for Joe in his 21 games in charge of the team.
And captain Nicky Butt admitted it was good to give Kinnear a lift with the win, and even dismissed any notion the manager’s illness had taken away from the team’s focus before the game on Saturday, which was huge for the club.
“Not really, no. We were focused on a massive task, which was to get three points, anyway,”
“I think he’s just been taken for tests and the like. It’s nice to win it and give him a bit of lift.”
“But it wasn’t a case of added motivation because we were really focused on the game anyway.”
It seems the players were really ready for the game last Saturday, but you wouldn’t have believed it from the way the defense looked in the first half. They seemed all at sea at times, and it was again another poor first goal we conceded.
Defense is still our biggest concern and with 42 goals now conceded so far this season we are the 3rd worst defense in the league in terms of goals conceded, behind only Hull City (46) and WBA (47).
The Newcastle defense even looked good compared to that of WBA, as the two center-backs conspired to give Newcastle all 3 goals, and Tony Mowbray has a job on his hands to save the team from relegation this season.
In fact it could be that promoted sides, WBA, Stoke and Hull City could all see the drop this year, because even Hull have been on a terrible run since their first 10 league games of the season.