Newcastle fans are waking up today with that sinking feeling of what could have been.
Kevin Nolan – after scoring what looked like the winner yesterday
And what could have been is that Newcastle should have beaten Sunderland yesterday, but of course Sunderland equalized in the 4th minute of injury time, even though Steve Bruce, their manager, admits Newcastle were again the better side.
The first half was very even and a typical derby game, but in that second half, Newcastle’s experienced players like Joey Barton, Kevin Nolan and Jose Enrique, not to mention Coloccini who was fabulous yesterday, again got a tight grip on the game.
Bruce was not happy with his Sunderland side in the second half, as he thought his side again let the occasion get to them, as they had in the 5-1 hammering at St. James’ Park.
What was missing from Newcastle was a second goal to kill off the game, and they never got that, which always left them open to conceding an equalizing goal, however much the Newcastle side were on top.
And as bad luck would have it – it was a lucky goal for Sunderland – just before the end of the game, with the scorer Gyan, not knowing much about it, and admitting as much after the game.
Alan Pardew thought it felt like a defeat at the end of the game, and that’s exactly how we felt.
But it was another solid league performance from Newcastle, and but for that last minute goal Newcastle would have had 3 league wins in a row without conceding a single goal.
This is what Alan said today:
“I am disappointed. We were in the dressing room feeling like it was a defeat even though we got a valuable point,”
“The players had a good mentality about them – we started with two up front to try and hurt them and we were fast and I thought we started on the front foot.”
“The first half felt like a derby, both teams were huffing and puffing, but in the second half we were excellent.”
“We controlled the game, got the goal and from that period our fans were making lots of noise and I thought on the sideline we were see it out.”
“What cost us was a lot of injury time which I thought was a bit harsh. You don’t see many games with five minutes injury time – I thought it was three or four at most.”
“It brought the stadium alive and I thought the referee almost went ‘Here you are, there’s a little bit at the end for you.’ And that is what it proved to be.”
Five minutes injury time did seem a bit much, but you can hardly point to that as the reason for not winning, because Newcastle should not have conceded, and unfortunately it was another bad goal against Newcastle.
Steve Harper was probably at fault a little, although Steve was very good the rest of the game, but it was a sickening goal to concede.
Newcastle now have to take this disappointment and use it to their advantage, much like Sunderland did after their 5-1 walloping at St. James’ Park, earlier in the season.
Next up is Spurs next Saturday at home, and we’ll now be looking for all 3 points from that game – if only to make up for this disappointment.