Hughton Delighted With Fighting Magpies

Chris Hughton has paid tribute to the fighting spirit of the Newcastle players today, which was epitomized by captain Alan Smith, who had one of his best games in a black and white shirt.


Alan Smith – gave captain’s display tonight

The lads went down 1-0 at the half, but came storming back to equalize and with just a little bit of luck could have taken all 3 points.

But they had to thank 21 year-old substitute goalkeeper Tim Krul, who came on in the second half for the concussed Steve Harper, and made four excellent saves to earn the point for the Magpies.

This lad is going to become some goalkeeper on Tyneside.

And after the game a relieved and seemingly happy stand-in boss Hughton told Newcastle United TV:

“I think on the balance of chances it was a fair result.” “It was certainly an entertaining, end-to-end game.”

“I was delighted with the players’ response after going in 1-0 down at half-time.”

“They came out for the second-half and got the equaliser they deserved and after that we had West Brom on the back foot.”

“We had a couple of good chances to take the lead and on another day I think we would have left here with three points.”

“But let’s not forget that Tim Krul has made some outstanding saves at the other end.”

With the nonsense that has been going on at the Newcastle club over the summer, most Newcastle fans will be pleased with both the display and the result today, especially after the team was 1-0 down away from home.

But that’s only if we can start our winning ways at home next Saturday to Reading.

After this performance there could indeed be a decent crowd to watch the lads next Saturday at St. James’ Park, especially if we can get a new owner and new manager in before then – and even one or two new players.

We continue to live in hope.

Comments welcome.

64 comments so far

  • Lew Davies

    Aug 8, 2009 at 9:58 PM

    Comment #1

    very happy overall with an away point.
    hope we can push on from here and get 3 at home next week.

  • Doocey

    Aug 8, 2009 at 10:02 PM

    Comment #2

    Good performance, nice to see.
    Sale by Monday I saw somewhere on this ‘blog?

  • Fostino

    Aug 8, 2009 at 10:08 PM

    Comment #3

    alan smith had a great game, i was worried he’d have another rubbish season but he might take the championship by storm

    a few things are clear from the game:

    1) r. taylor should not be our 1st choice r.b.

    2) colocini aint suited to the english game

    3) jonas was lively but needs to improve final ball

    4) we need to offload some c.m’s to get some more productive ones, id be happy to see geremi, butt and nolan go in exchange for one creative one……thats like 100,ooo in wages from three players compared to lets say one player at 30,000 max

    5) carroll looks good, i think ranger, ameobi and carroll are all a bit too similar, could do with a pacy striker to strike a balance

    6) again like last season, we need creativity and pace in the side


    a L.B
    a R.B
    a C.B.
    a pacy Winger
    a creative C.M.
    a pacy STRIKER

    and we can still afford to get rid of colo, butt, nolan, geremi, possibly duff too…thats some very earners there!! r.taylor can go too

  • listie

    Aug 8, 2009 at 10:13 PM

    Comment #4

    Jut been reading the west brom forum posted on the other artical, found this quote

    “My gut tells me that once Newcastle get bought, they’ll get organized and run away with this league, but I fancy us to finish second.”

    God how would like it to be true, but my computer says no!!!

  • Robby Bobson

    Aug 8, 2009 at 10:15 PM

    Comment #5

    Fostino…a LB??

    Enrique was one of the best players on the pitch i thought, after Alan Smith.

    Guitterez was hopeless at the final ball, and putting lualua on would have been better as he wasted it every time.

    Also barton came on and showed abit of genuine skill and technique which the entire game had missed.

  • Tom4Nufc

    Aug 8, 2009 at 10:16 PM

    Comment #6

    Fostino- Completely disagree with you. Carroll is nothing like Shola, he tries his best, gets back to defend and generally has an end product and can only improve, whereas Shola does none of that and cannot improve! But I agree about the pacy striker, Beckford would be the best available option imo!

  • SJS

    Aug 8, 2009 at 10:16 PM

    Comment #7

    Doocey, takeover on Monday? Who what?

  • Lew Davies

    Aug 8, 2009 at 10:18 PM

    Comment #8

    Listie – actually that’s a fair comment if the “new owners” spend some cash to invest in the team. Unlike the fat twat that owns us at the mo.

    Fostinio – we dont have a RB at the mo, hence R Tayls (RM) doing his best there.
    Crazy init.?

  • Toon_Factor

    Aug 8, 2009 at 10:20 PM

    Comment #9

    Lew Davies

    Ryan Taylor is a right back not right mid.

  • murvar

    Aug 8, 2009 at 10:20 PM

    Comment #10

    We did OK but failed to capitalise on our chances. This was mainly due to the bewildering habit of our managers of playing left-sided players (like Duff) on the right and right-sided players (like Jonas) on the right. Had Duff rather than Jonas had those early breaks into the box then he wouldn’t have had to check back, could have taken a shot or picked out a better early ball. Sure Duff did well to put away the goal, but tell me……….. were YOU confident he would hit the target? My point entirely. As far as I can see they play Jonas there so he can communicate effectively with Enrique.

  • Lew Davies

    Aug 8, 2009 at 10:21 PM

    Comment #11

    Robby B- agree, enrique was ok, but his crosses were awful TBH. bit of a HOOF!
    Still overall good game though.
    Somebody please shoot shambles and put us out of his misery.

  • Lew Davies

    Aug 8, 2009 at 10:23 PM

    Comment #12

    TF Really? my mistake then.
    Must try harder. (him not me!)

  • Tjodalf

    Aug 8, 2009 at 10:23 PM

    Comment #13

    So, Ed! Smith’s had one of his best games in a black and white shirt has he? Well, that could hardly be today, as Newcastle were wearing their famous custard-shirts.. 🙂

    Anyways, it was a better result than I’d have hoped for.

    Nice to have at least 1 point in the bag when Shearer comes back..

  • Fostino

    Aug 8, 2009 at 10:24 PM

    Comment #14

    tom4NUFC – absolutly, carroll is alot better than ameobi, i wont deny that, he had a great opening twenty mins, but i think ameobi, carroll and ranger are all target men

    robby bobson – aye enrique did ok today, i wouldnt say he was that good today, but u must agree that we need cover at l.b. considering kadar might be deployed at c.b.

  • coxonfamily

    Aug 8, 2009 at 10:28 PM

    Comment #15

    dont think it is anything to be excited by but at least we didnt give up… thats the main thing!

  • Fostino

    Aug 8, 2009 at 10:28 PM

    Comment #16

    lew davies

    r taylor been banging on about how he wants to be our 1st choice r.b. this season, well lucky for him, he’s our only one and not a very good one at that!! r.taylor is a bit all talk and no action

  • tommy boi

    Aug 8, 2009 at 10:28 PM

    Comment #17

    Wow more stupid comments:
    Ranger a slow target man? You have obviously not watched him play before. Clueless

  • Here We Ngo Baheng

    Aug 8, 2009 at 10:30 PM

    Comment #18

    McCormack is available too, although he might cost twice the price of Beckford.

    Velikonja is a promising pacy frontman and could be bought for £1m or less. He’s described as technically proficient, two-footed, properly quick and a hard worker with great movement. Basically sounds a bit like the best bits of Owen and Oba and worth a gamble.

    There’s no reason why we couldn’t sign 2 players and have them as the pacy forwards, Carroll and Ameobi as the target men, with Ranger falling into both categories, as our strikeforce. We’d still have Baheng and Danquah with LuaLua, Duff, Vuckic and Donaldson as other options if needs be.

    I would call that a very healthy mix.

  • Davy Craig

    Aug 8, 2009 at 10:31 PM

    Comment #19


    I agree wholeheartedly but I’m thinking about any signings as they ain’t gonna come unless we get rid of Ashley.

    But how can we say that we’re pleased with a point? We should be looking to win games like this home or away. We had so much possession in the first half but we didn’t manage to create many real chances at all. Jonas had a chance for a header, R. Taylor’s free kick and Duff with a right footed punt over the bar. Ameobi and Carroll both held the ball up fairly well (without doing a great deal else) but there wasn’t much link from the midfield as the middle two were so deep in the first half. Jonas to me is totally ineffective and I’d rather see Lua Lua given a chance. Some of the passing was good but we still seemed to shoot ourselves in the foot.

    On the balance of play a draw seemed fair at the end to all but I disagree. We had a chance in the last 10/15 minutes to go for it but Hughton took off Carroll and brought on Barton leaving Ameobi stranded up front.

    I don’t know if anyone else noticed but as Barton came on he gave instructions to Nolan (who huffed and puffed for most of the second half having been almost anonymous for much of the first) to sit in front of the back four. I couldn’t believe it as it became obvious that Hughton was settling for a draw and looked to shut up shop. This, however, gave West Brom the impetus to attack and go for the win themselves as we were toothless going forward. His post match interview also confirmed this. We will get nowhere in this league if we don’t go for wins.

    Success is mainly based on a solid defence but in this league you need to score goals to fight your way out. Our defence is not good enough to hold on. Collocini was awful at every turn and R. Taylor was constantly out of position. S. Taylor and Krul saved our blushes as Enrique’s lack of pace was also exposed.

    Smith for me was easily the best player on the pitch and provided some hope for the season. Let’s see what happens next week and hopefully we’ll be going all out for a win.

  • Ross

    Aug 8, 2009 at 10:33 PM

    Comment #20

    Listie-there’s a few like that. I was quite surprised by their general opinion of us if im honest, one lad was like

    “we’ve done quite well to get a draw against a team who being honest, if they sorted themselves out would no doubt walk this league”

    Obviously its just an opinion and is most probably wrong but i was just quite shocked opposition fans thought of us like that.

  • Doocey

    Aug 8, 2009 at 10:33 PM

    Comment #21

    SJS // Aug 8, 2009 at 10:16 PM

    Doocey, takeover on Monday? Who what?

    Dunno, someone mentioned it in a earlier thread?!
    Was hoping someone could expand on it?

  • Davy Craig

    Aug 8, 2009 at 10:35 PM

    Comment #22

    I disagree with the comment about Ranger though as he has pace and a decent shot (not frightened of having a go with either foot unlike one footed Carroll). I’d certainly give him a chance after watching him last season in the stiffs!

  • Fostino

    Aug 8, 2009 at 10:39 PM

    Comment #23

    well said davy craig, good observation about nolan too, however i think your a bit harsh on jonas, although his final ball his bad, he was a good attacking outlet who had good close control and kept the ball many times, he’s nagging to the ref did annoy me tho

  • Fostino

    Aug 8, 2009 at 10:42 PM

    Comment #24

    aye, ranger has potential to be a star, but he is an unproven gem at the moment, i will admit ive never seen him play a full match before tho, just a few mini clips of his goals and some good pieces of play

  • Davy Craig

    Aug 8, 2009 at 10:44 PM

    Comment #25


    I can see what you’re saying about Jonas and agree that he looks decent most of the time on the ball but he just doesn’t do it for me where it matters.

    He doesn’t shoot when he should and always seems to either need an extra touch or just keeps his head down when he’s crossing into the box. He creates very little for such a “talented” player. It’s no good doing it just over the half way line as defenders will stand off that far away from goal and let you look good and flashy.

    As for his falling over and asking for cards he needs to stop that now!

  • Fostino

    Aug 8, 2009 at 10:52 PM

    Comment #26

    i cant understand the mentality, newcastle were on the attack, it wasnt too long after we got our equaliser, then he lays down on the pitch until played is stopped because he hurt his ear………..i wouldnt dream of doing it!! in a match last wednesday, i was literally forced off the field by the ref to clear my bloody nose, i certainly didnt make any fuss bout it, its sport!!

  • Lew Davies

    Aug 8, 2009 at 10:53 PM

    Comment #27

    I asked on a diff thread, but got no reply.
    How old is that Kiwi lad, C Wood for WBA?
    Dont know for sure, but very young is the answer. Why are we so scared to play our young talented kids?
    someone else stated, if M owen had come thru’ our youth setup, then he would never have made it. How true.
    If they are good enough, then they are old enough. How old was rooney playing at Everton?????
    Sometimes it is right to play the young uns. Timing is everything.
    NOW IS THE TIME, for some of them.

  • Doocey

    Aug 8, 2009 at 10:54 PM

    Comment #28


    Daniel Jarque. Brilliant defender, recently named captain.
    Found dead in pre-season camp by team-mates after no showing for dinner.

  • Doocey

    Aug 8, 2009 at 10:55 PM

    Comment #29

    Wood is 17
    And built like a 25 year-old!

  • Lew Davies

    Aug 8, 2009 at 10:57 PM

    Comment #30

    Is that a compliment or an excuse?

  • Fostino

    Aug 8, 2009 at 10:58 PM

    Comment #31

    lew davies

    i tink he was 19, moore gave poor colo the run around, he continuously shrugged colo off and misjudged the ball and took too much time on the ball

  • Fostino

    Aug 8, 2009 at 11:02 PM

    Comment #32

    doocey – the jarque info is abit random considering he died a while back

  • Lew Davies

    Aug 8, 2009 at 11:03 PM

    Comment #33

    Neet lads, early start the morra.
    Keep the Faith,
    Its not the worst start to a season.
    Cant wait for next week.

  • keeganjr

    Aug 8, 2009 at 11:22 PM

    Comment #34

    hello from norway. happy to see the guys fighting to day, smithy and carrol in front. colo u give me heartat….. yeah u know. we need new manager and so on.. but we need new players anyway. ake a tripp to norway,(our new manager) and tak a look on: skjelbred (rosenborg) must buy. Huseklepp(brann bk) must buy. and molde and rosenborg as a team, some great talent there. and finally M.Thione from little hint for some great talents.. great point today guys, big thank u too TKrul

  • keeganjr

    Aug 8, 2009 at 11:24 PM

    Comment #35

    sorry for m bad english.. hehe

  • Doocey

    Aug 8, 2009 at 11:28 PM

    Comment #36

    Fostino // Aug 8, 2009 at 11:02 PM

    doocey – the jarque info is abit random considering he died a while back

    It says he dies today.
    Woods is 17.

  • punk skunk...

    Aug 8, 2009 at 11:34 PM

    Comment #37

    Harper 7(hard luck Steve)
    Krul 8, well done, needs to work on comin’ out for the ball…
    R Taylor 7, still gettin’ used to playin’ right back, nice free kick off the angle…
    S Taylor 8, can’t believe i’m biggin’ him up but, he left his soul on the field, barkin’ orders & organizin’, keep it up Lad…
    Coloccini 5.5, should play DM, he needs too much time playin’ CB, ‘cos he can use the ball, had a mare for their goal…
    Enrique 6.5, couple of stray passes, but defended pretty solidly & got up the pitch…
    Smith 8, wow!..About time like…
    Duff 7, well taken goal, did well generally…
    Jonas 7, got into great positions, poor final ball, was fouled constantly, got nowt from the homer ref…
    Nolan 6, did ok at times, anonymous at others, great pass for the goal tho’, shoulda buried a header…
    Carroll 7, got stuck in, fought hard, wanted to be there, keep it goin’ son…
    Ameobi 6.5, tried, upset the defense, gave up possession too easily tho’…
    Barton 6.5, not enough time on the pitch, shoulda been on fro the start…
    Ranger, welcome to the Toon Lad, all the best, Ho’way!..

  • Fostino

    Aug 8, 2009 at 11:42 PM

    Comment #38

    aye, i googled it after there, R.I.P.

  • Fostino

    Aug 8, 2009 at 11:45 PM

    Comment #39

    punk skunk

    good ratings, abit generous with r taylor tho

  • Graeme

    Aug 8, 2009 at 11:47 PM

    Comment #40

    Just back from a great day at WBA.

    The Toon actually played as if thy meant it and passion and commitment, sadly missing last season, was evident all over the park.

    As a severe critic of Alan Smith over the last 2 years, I have to say he was everywhere today, covered every blade of grass. He was superb in everything he did, wether driving the team forward or tackling back to protect the back four. An immense performance that was so welcome to watch; if he keeps this up, anything is possible.

    This team was unrecognisable compared to the end of last season and a pleasure to watch.

    Stroller needs to be replaced by Nile Ranger – within seconds of coming on, he was heading the ball down to create a good chance, which Bambi just wasnt able to do in the 88 minutes he was on the pitch.

    Very happy with the game I watched, there is promise there and hope for this season. What a relief.


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