With Newcastle’s tough run-in to the season, the team should have done better than get a draw at Hull yesterday, and the result has done absolutely nothing to quell the relegation anxiety that is gripping Tyneside.
Peter Lovenkrands – why was this player not used yesterday?
And Hughton’s downbeat assessment of the 1-1 draw at the KC Stadium — despite other results meaning his side moved up a place to 16th in the table — underlined that Newcastle’s situation remains critical.
“I’m disappointed we didn’t get the three points we came for.”
“We gave away a poor goal . . . but having scored at a good time, I was convinced we would come out and get three points.”
It was a poor goal to give away, and it was surprise that young Bassong couldn’t get a headed challenge in on Geovanni, who basically had a free header, and he took it nicely, to head home past a helpless Harper.
But apart from the first 30 minutes yesterday, Newcastle looked and were the better side.
Newcastle should have won this game with gilt-edged chances being thrown away by Martins and Gutierrez, in particular. We had to rely on local lad Steven Taylor, who started off as a center-forward while a young teenager, getting a wonderful opportunist goal when he fired a cross from Nicky Butt, on the volley, high into the keeper’s top right hand corner.
If that had been Owen everybody would have been going on about how great it was, but anyway, a great goal from Steven and a vital one too.
Jonas should have buried a chance he got after 60 minutes, when some terrific midfield play from Alan Smith, found the Argentine wide open on the left, but he skied his shot high over the bar.
This is the Achilles heel of Gutierrez’ game, he doesn’t or cannot score enough goals. In 24 appearances for Newcastle he still has to score his first goal, and in 95 appearances for Real Mallorca he scored just 5 times.
And when these half chances and clear chances were being missed what does Hughton do? He brings off Owen and puts on goal king Shola Ameobi, who is hardly ever a goal threat.
Why on earth was Lovenkrands, who has shown he can put half chances in the net, and scored last time ouyt against the Red Devils, not used yesterday? We know it’s so easy to second guess but when Owen came off, it was obvious we needed more goalscoring power on the field, so we could clinch the win.
Lovenkrands had partnered Oba Martins well up front last time out, and scored Newcastle’s goal. Even Andy Carroll has more goal threat in him than Ameobi.
Ryan Taylor looked good when he was brought on, and it’s clear we need two wingers playing. When we play Smith, Butt and Geremi all together, it didn’t work because we had no threat down the right wing, so the initial team selection at the start wasn’t good either.
Chris could have done better with his substitutions yesterday, but the lads didn’t have any luck either, and it was clear in the last 20 minutes, with both Chris and Colin Calderwood on the line, that Newcastle desperately needed and wanted all 3 points.
Hull were happy to hang on and why not – they are 4 points ahead of us and a Newcastle win would have brought the Tyneside club within a point of Hull.
We said there would be no excuses before the game, and we keep that attitude, and say that yesterday’s performance and result were just not good enough – full stop – period.