Chris Hughton feared the worst when Doncaster Rovers were awarded a penalty after 75 minutes, with the score tied at 1-1.
Chris Hughton – applauds the spirit of Newcastle players
Kevin Nolan’s last-minute goal, his 8th so far this season, was enough (just) to give Newcastle a 2-1 win at St James’ Park, after Andy Carroll had earlier equalized on 68 minutes, following a Dean Shiels’ opening goal after 18 minutes.
But Doncaster captain Martin Woods missed from the penalty spot after 75 minutes, and then Newcastle had Zurab Khizanishvili sent off after 85 minutes.
Hughton felt his team deserved to take all three points on the balance of play, after Doncaster had wasted their chance to go back in front.
“I’m more relieved because at 1-1 they had an opportunity to go 2-1 up,” “I’m certainly relieved that it (the penalty) didn’t go in. I thought on the balance of the game that we deserved to win it.”
“In the first half they (Doncaster) played a good tactical game but they will keep possession against any team.”
“I thought over the 90 minutes that if there was a side that was going to win the game I felt it was us, but at 1-1 and with the penalty you think the worst.”
Hughton is now to meet with owner Mike Ashley this weekend to come up with a deal to make him Newcastle’s new permanent manager.
Chris also commented on the spirit of his Newcastle players, who ended the game to a standing ovation by a season-high crowd of 43,949.
“I think it says everything (about our spirit),” “We’re realistic enough to know we’ve had a difficult time in recent weeks.”
“Our performances in the last two games were very good and the two performances here (at St James’ Park) before that we found difficult.”
“There is a lot of character in that side. To get the winner when we did speaks volumes for this group of lads.”
It also says something of the Newcastle fans, when a season high crowd was at today’s game (43,949), after the lads lost two games on the road, and an embarrassing defeat at Scunthopre last Tuesday.
But Newcastle are now back at the top of the league, through their hard earned win this afternoon.