Chris Hughton was full of praise for his players following the game this afternoon against Everton at St. James’ Park.
Sebastien Bassong – another massive performance today
Newcastle played Everton for over 50 minutes with just 10 men, and while being off form as a team, their determination and grit earned the team a valuable point this afternoon in a 0-0 draw.
Kevin Nolan was sent off on 44 minutes for a two footed challenge on Victor Anichebe, and it was over the top and the referee got it right when he showed Kevin a straight red card, to the dismay of the Newcastle crowd.
And first-team coach Hughton said after the game:
“”Going down to ten men so early, resilience had to be shown.
“We knew it would be tough from the start against a very, very good Everton side. For us to go down to ten men at the time that we did, and to come through with Everton having limited opportunities at our goal, is testimony to the lads.”
“In the second half we knew it was going to be difficult to score a goal. The best opportunity – and the best move of the game – was Peter Lovenkrands.””
Our bench was already in the air, and it would have been nice to have gone into that second half one up.”
“It’s a game we might have lost – what helps is the quality of player that we have, and the bench that we have.”
“It was important to be able to make the substitutions that we did, and we made them at the right time That’s not something that we’ve always been able to do. We’re happy with the point.”
On 31 minutes Peter Lovenkrands missed an absolute sitter when it looked easier to score than miss, but he missed wide to Howard’s right hand post.
And Steve Harper saved Newcastle on 19 minutes, when he made a brilliant reaction save from a corner, when the ball seemingly was behind him, but he somehow scooped the ball away and Bassong, who was terrific yet again this afternoon, booted the ball clear.
Then on 92 minutes a Jack Rodwell shot from outside the box, was deflected by Harper low to his right, and the ball just went wide of the post, although the referee gave a goal kick.
The back four were all excellent in the second half, and the lads tried their very best, even though they did not play well as a team.
The pick of the bunch though was Sebastien Bassong, the 22 year-old 6’2″ Frenchman, who has to get International recognition shortly, since he’s at least twice the player that former Newcastle center-back Boumsong ever was.
Sebastien is certainly the find of the season for the Magpies, and he showed it yet again this afternoon.