Steve Harper, in his usual down to earth manner said last night’s performance was just not good enough, and the goals the team conceded were very poor ones.
Steve Harper – we were not good enough
Steve is Newcastle’s longest serving player, and he was signed by the great Kevin Keegan back in 1993.
Steve talked about last night’s poor performance from the Newcastle side:
“It’s a massive wake-up call for everybody to do with the football club who thought we just had the right to go straight out of this league.”
“We have to earn it, and (last night) we didn’t do that.” “That’s this league – it’s what the Championship’s like.”
“We were looking to get two good results away from home, but after the high of Friday night, to lose 3-0, our biggest defeat of the season, is very, very, very disappointing.”
“It’s a massive wake-up call, and we have to demand a response from everybody on Saturday.”
Newcastle’s central defensive pairing of Mike Williamson and Fitz Hall, which had looked sold enough 4 days ago against Cardiff ity, were sadly not at their best last night, and Steve thinks the defending overall was very poor on the night.
“They were poor goals.” “From a free-kick we’ve been turned, and you can’t give Rob Hulse a free header.”“And the second one’s a needless penalty.”
“He wasn’t going anywhere, and we brought him down. We had a mountain to climb at 2-0.” “For the third one, we’ve cleared it, and after we’ve won the initial header, we’ve had two chances to clear it, and the lad’s hit it through a crowd.”
“We’re 3-0 down away from home, and left ourselves a massive mountain to climb.” “We couldn’t respond.”
“But we’re together – there’s not going to be any splits in the camp – and we need a response on Saturday.”
“At Scunthorpe we demanded a response, and we’ve got to do that now.”
We have to hope that both Coloccini and Smith will return for Saturday’s game, and maybe even young 19 year-old defender Tamas Kadar, who has never let the side down, may feature.
But we also shouldn’t go too far and play both Nicky Butt and Alan Smith in midfield again, that would be overkill on the defensive side of things.
We’ll see, but make no mistake, the team selection and tactics for this Saturday will be vital – and Chris will already be well of aware of that.
This is a good test of Chris Hughton’s management skills, and he hasn’t failed us so far this season.