Chris Hughton has come out and criticised Newcastle’s defending against Stoke City as the reason a game Newcastle were cruising through in the first half, ended up being the second successive time the Newcastle side have been beaten at home this season.
Chris Hughton – poor defensive play in second half cost us
Newcastle have once again been brought crashing back down to earth after a couple of excellent results – just like we were when Blackpool, of all teams, beat us at home a couple of weeks ago, after 26 games at home unbeaten.
The difference between yesterday and the Blackpool game is that yesterday the side couldn’t create any chances, and even through we pummeled Stoke is midfield in that first half, we didn’t create any real chances and had to rely on a penalty from captain Kevin Nolan to take the lead after Andy Carroll was brought down by Robert Huth.
Andy Carroll also had a very subdued game yesterday as well.
The Newcastle manager said today:
“We should have coped with their set-pieces better than we did. We were able to cope with them for the majority of the game, but it’s all about pinnacle moments and in two set-plays we have been out done.”
“We knew going into the second half that we needed to get that second goal, but we didn’t do that.” “We were up against a Stoke side which upped the intensity of their game and we didn’t do enough to carve them open.
“They defended very well, they were very resilient and we couldn’t break them down.” “We didn’t create enough. We knew it was going to be tough, we knew they would play a certain way. We had to be good defensively, but we didn’t deal with the strengths they had.”
“We have to give them credit, they defended very, very well and got the two goals from set-plays. All we can do is prepare the team to play against them and the strengths they have got, but you are reliant on players doing their jobs and you are reliant on players marking individuals.”
“Sometimes you are up against players of quality and they have three or four who are outstanding in the air.” “It wasn’t a lack of effort, we showed a lot of endeavour, but once they got their noses in front they defended extremely well.”
It’s another big set back for the team, but manager Chris Hughton, as he did last season, is determined to keep everybody’s feet firmly on the ground, and not let us get carried away with the good results when they come, and not get too down-hearted with the poor results when they come.
It looks like it’s going to be real up and down season as the lads adjust to the top English league again, where mistakes are so heavily punished.
“Results like this do put more pressure on us to pick up results away from home, but we are a newly promoted team from the Championship and we knew this was going to be a tough season.”“We knew this was going to be a season where we lost more games than we won.”
“The more consistent teams have better quality players. For us, it’s a learning curve. We’ve got to make sure the lows, and it’s a big blow today, that we’re able to bounce back.”
“We must not forget that this could have been the end of a very good week.” “Did anybody expect us to win at Everton? No they didn’t. Did anyone expect us to win at Chelsea? No they didn’t, but we did on both occasions.”
“We’re still in a pretty good position. I’m realistic enough to know where we are at this moment. My thoughts haven’t changed.” “It would be nice to say we’ll win more than we lose – that would see us in a very favourable position in the league – but we have to be realistic.”
In the second half we were beaten too many time when high balls went into the penalty box, and it certainly happened for their first goal, which was of course crucial, and it’s not as if Newcastle didn’t get fair warning of what was to come, after Kenwynne Jones headed the ball against the bar twice before scoring.
After the first half performance yesterday, it was a terrible let-down for Newcastle fans in that final 45 minutes, but we have to think this is the impact of coming back into a top league.
The teams are so much better than in the Championship – and can come back even after being completely outplayed in the first half.
That’s just exactly what Stoke City did at St. James’ Park yesterday,and they have to be given credit for that.