Newcastle dug a big hole for themselves in the first half, but came back in the final 45 minutes with a display of guts and determination and almost got all 3 points.
Jonas Gutierrez – tremendous second half display on Saturday
But the comeback was something that we have seen many times from this team this season, something that was sadly missing last season, and we paid the price for that.
Argentine Jonas Gutierrez had a tremendous game and a goal, his third of the season, which sparked Newcastle into almost winning the game in the final 15 hectic minutes.
Chris Hughton would have been disappointed with the first half performance but delighted with how the lads applied themselves after going 2-0 down away from home.
Chris said today:
“It’s been a characteristic of the team all season that we want to win football matches, and we can get stronger as the game goes on,”
“That, and we do have quality in the team. If you look at the first goal it was a bit fortuitous but you have to be in the right place at the right time.”
“Andy Carroll has scored the second one and he’s a player in real confident mood, and a good goalscoring mood.”
“I thought we dominated the second half. I thought they were better than us in the first half but not by much. If I look at the opportunities they had, they were very limited.”
“They have scored from a free-kick and the second goal (from Nicky Maynard) was absolutely wonderful.” “Sometimes you have to hold your hands up and say that.”
“We were always in the game and had chances ourselves. I thought Danny Guthrie was going to score before half-time so it wasn’t a game they dominated.”
“I knew we would give a good show in the second half. I was very confident they would respond – and they did.”
It’s good that Chris didn’t criticize Steve Harper for the first goal, because Steve has been huge for Newcastle this season, and every goalkeeper makes mistakes over a season.
And that’s only about the third error he has made in this campaign, and it’s a good characteristic of Chris that he protects and supports his players in times of need.
The second goal was a wonderful individual goal, but we still thought Danny Simpson may have done more to at least try to block the shot. But no doubt Danny will watch the video and learn for the next time that situation happens.
However, to be fair, that goal was one of the best seen in the Championship this season, no doubt about it, as the ball just screamed into the net past Harper.
Gutierrez got the vital first goal when he robbed the full back and rounded the goalkeeper, before putting the ball in the net, and just 3 minutes later it was that man Andy Carroll again, who was hand to blast the ball into back of the net after great work from Wayne Routledge on the left wing.
Newcastle will need to do a lot better tomorrow night at Doncaster Rovers, if we are to get the win we really need, and the team will have to start and play a lot more compact and solid in the first half.
We are hoping that Peter Lovenkrands will be able to return for the game.