Newcastle goalkeeper Steve Harper’s experience and professionalism this season has been a tremendous plus for the Newcastle side.
Steve Harper – important save yesterday
And Harper made a vital save in the first half yesterday when he bravely dived to smother at the feet of Jon Parkin to prevent the tall striker from putting the ball home from a cross by Billy Jones.
And then Harper made another superb save, again from Parkin, when he blocked a terrific drive by the Preston striker.
Both saves were made when the score was just 1-0.
Manager Chris Hughton talked about that second save in particular:
“It was outstanding,”
“It was at a period of the game when we started very well then had a dip and Preston were able to affect the game.”
“At that point, that arguably was the save that allowed us to go on and win the game.”
But Steve has been making important saves like that all season, and since Shay Given left over a year ago, Steve has been the model of consistency and has had a great season for the Magpies.
But not surprisingly, Preston’s new manager Darren Ferguson felt it was never a 3-0 game, and as is getting too common these days, he blamed the referee in part:
“It was never a 3-0 game, that flatters Newcastle massively,”
“They will have a good chance of winning promotion if they get referees like they did today.”
“You have to have strong referees, especially against Newcastle, and he wasn’t strong enough, for me anyway.”
“Overall I was pleased with the performance, if we play like that we’ll be OK.”
Well better to blame the referee than to look at your own shortcomings we suppose.