One of the things that Alan Pardew has done at Newcastle since he arrived, is to tighten up the Newcastle defense.
Jose Enrique – fabulous game yesterday from the Spaniard
And that was apparent in yesterday’s game at Blackburn, where Newcastle bossed the game for long period, but just couldn’t get a goal to take all three points.
We are hoping that’s not the way it’s going to be through the end of the season, with now being short of some good strikers.
But at least there are a few who can be given their chance, and it was good to see Shefki Kuqi get on right at the end, and surely Nile Ranger now deserves more playing time than just the last 15 minutes of each game.
But Newcastle looked solid at the back yesterday, except for just a couple of times, and it was good to see them get their third clean sheet of the year, especially after shipping four goals in 25 minutes to Arsenal last Saturday.
Jose Enrique had another terrific game for Newcastle, as he flew down that left wing time and time again, and we’ll just have to hope Newcastle can hold onto the player in the summer, when no doubt some bigger clubs will be after him.
Alan Pardew took quite a few positives out of the game yesterday:
“We weren’t right against Arsenal – we shipped in goals that were unusual for us,””If you look at our goals against column it’s very good, especially since I arrived. We’ve really tightened up.”
“In the second half against Arsenal we defended very well and then took that into today. We were back to our best.”
“There were a couple of occasions in the first half when Olsson skipped down the left, but apart from that I can’t remember our keeper really having to do anything.”
“I am genuinely very pleased with that performance, especially after Arsenal.”
“We’ve had enough excitement for one week, so a dull game like that was the perfect tonic.”
Almost 5,000 Newcastle fans made the journey yesterday, and they seemed to make a lot more noise than the home crowd, although Blackburn had lost their last 3 games, and really that should have been four yesterday.
Pardew paid tribute to the fantastic Newcastle fans:
“It felt like we were the home team,” he explained.
“Our fans were great and we were making more noise, we bossed the game and it felt like one of those home games where you get a bit frustrated because you don’t win it.”
We were disappointed to only get the draw yesterday, and as it turns out Sunderland lost their second game in a row, this time 2-1 at home to Spurs, and Newcastle missed a chance to gain points on a number of teams above us, as well as pull away from the relegation zone.
Newcastle are still 5 points above 3rd bottom place, but have a much superior goal difference than the bottom clubs, so that’s always worth a point.
But it was a solid performance yesterday, and augers well for the future, and now we’ll have to see if we have better luck at Birmingham on Tuesday night.
Birmingham have won their last two games, but surely we can get all 3 points at St. Andrews?
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