Newcastle goalkeeper Steve Harper had another good game yesterday, and was disappointed not to take anything out of the game – millions of Newcastle fans were too.
Steve Harper – defeat hard to take
It was a massive 3 points for Aston Villa, and it now puts them just 2 points behind Newcastle in the league table.
But their nerves showed near the end, and Newcastle should have been able to get an equalizer, as the Villa players started to freeze a little bit towards the end of the game.
Villa had one win in their last 7 games and of course wins are what saves a team these days, as draws are never worth too much, not compared to the three points for a win at least.
Newcastle fans just have to hope that Wigan, West Ham and Wolves keep losing, and that Newcastle don’t lose to either Blackpool or Birmingham in upcoming games.
And then the team should be safe, when the lads entertain a very quickly improving WBA, at home on May 22nd, the very last game of the season.
But Newcastle are not on a good streak at the moment, having lost three of their last four games, and all to teams beneath then in the league.
The only saving grace is that Sunderland are on an even worse streak, having lost seven of their last eight games, and taken a single point from the last 24 on offer.
This is what goalkeeper Steve Harper said about the game yesterday:
“We had a decent start.” “But we know how hard it can be at home when the fans are restless.”
“They scored at a perfect time for them.” “It was disappointing to concede from a free-kick because we’ve worked hard to prevent them.”
“You could feel the edginess in the crowd and we could have got a goal with 25 minutes to go. But it wasn’t to be.”
“We had chances and if we had come away with a point it wouldn’t have been unfair.” “ But we’re always disappointed to come away with nothing.”
“I had a couple of saves to make in the second half and Brad Friedel did too late on.” “We deserved something from it. The effort and commitment was there.”
“But losing Kevin Nolan and Cheick Tiote to suspension, then Shola overnight was probably a bridge too far for us.” “It was a massive blow for us because Shola would have caused them problems.
“To lose any game is difficult but when you have been more than a match for Villa then it’s hard to take.”
It’s true that Shola was a massive miss yesterday, and if he had been in the side and played like he did last week against Wolves then Newcastle would have probably taken something out of this game.
But the squad has been too small for two seasons now, and nothing much was done last summer to improve the size of the squad although Newcastle did bring in Cheick Tiote who’s turned out to be massive acquisition for Newcastle.
And talking of Cheick, he’s now served his two match ban, and will line up a week tomorrow against the might y Manchester United.
One thing that Cheick must improve on is his discipline as he’s missed far too many games for accumulating yellow cards, and for being sent off this season.
That’s an improvement area for Tiote for next season.
Comments always welcome.