Chis Hughton this morning praised the magnificent play of goalkeeper Steve Harper last night, as the Magpies scraped together a second successive win to remain top of the Coca Cola Championship.
Steve Harper – 3 great late saves
Chris also praised the spirit of his players, as they again stuck at it and came out of a tough game with all 3 points.
It was a deflected Ryan Taylor shot after 54 minutes that was enough to give Hughton his first win as permanent manager, and Newcastle’s first win on the road since we took Ipswich apart 4-0 some six games ago on 26th September.
But Newcastle still needed three excellent saves from Harper right at the end to preserve those 3 points – but where was the rest of the defense late in the game?
When Chris was asked if he though Newcastle were fortunate on the night he answered:
“ We were not fortunate. What we have had is Steve Harper has made a couple of fabulous saves. That’s the quality of the keeper. Over the 90 minutes we deserved it.”
“It’s nice to be back top. We knew it would be tough and they put us under pressure and asked us questions. I felt for large periods we were able to do that.”
“Steve is doing the business for me. There’s different aspects of Steve Harper. He is a Newcastle lad, been here for a long time and he is a calming influence around the place. He is a mature lad and a mature player. He’s been invaluable.”
But once again Newcastle didn’t start to play well until after half time and we just have to start turning up in the first 45 minutes of our games.
The good news is we kept another clean sheet – and that’s what we have to hope for in our future games:
wins plus clean sheets=promotion.
And with Steven Taylor, who is a massive influence when he plays for his home town club, finally returning (hopefully) on Saturday when Newcastle play Peterborough at St. James’ Park, that should help us do that.
Coloccini is looking a much better player than he’s been given credit for, and young Tamas Kadar showed last night why he’s such a promising teenager at the Tyneside club.
We pulled Coloccini apart during the summer, several times, but we are also very pleased that he seems to be proving us wrong, and becoming a key player this season for the Magpies. Good for him – and good for the club!