Even though Newcastle beat a 10 man Birmingham side 2-1 on Saturday, the defense still managed to let in another soft goal.
Danny Simpson tackles Lee Bowyer on Saturday
And that was just before half time, after Newcastle were 2-0 up after another good penalty from Shola Ameobi on 35 minutes, and a strong header from Steven Taylor on 43 minutes.
Steven Taylor had an excellent comeback game for Newcastle on Saturday, and is currently out Man of the Match on the home page.
It was another Fabricio Coloccini defensive error, not unlike the goal he conceded at Bolton and Johan Elmander last year, when he was sent off.
Add to that the great goalkeeping performance of Ben Forster, and Newcastle just squeezed the win, but it should have been more than just a one goal margin.
But a win is a win, and it was enough to take Newcastle to 10th position in the league, although Stoke’s excellent 3-1 win against Arsenal yesterday at the Britannia Stadium put Newcastle down to 11th position.
Arsenal’s defensive play is even starting to look comical these days, and Wenger just has to improve that back four for next season.
Danny Simpson talked about the sloppy goal Newcastle conceded just before half time on Saturday:
“At 2-0 we were cruising, but the goal we conceded was quite soft,” “That’s what’s frustrating. It’s not like somebody’s picked it up from 25 yards and blasted it into the top corner. It’s just little errors.”
“That’s good because it means we can stop it. When you look at the tapes, you can stop those errors in the future.”
“At 2-1, even though they had 10 men, you’ve got to be wary, because with a set piece or a long ball, before you know it, it could be 2-2.”
“We kept our discipline and maybe should have got a couple more in the second half. It didn’t happen, but the main thing is we didn’t concede any more goals.”
Newcastle at least got out of their four game slump in which they had taken only 2 points and scored only one goal, so it was good to get 2 goals in that first half, even though one of them was a penalty – at this stage of the season we’ll take whatever we can get.
The great news is Newcastle are safe on 44 points, and even have a fighting chance to finish in the top 10, but only if Newcastle can beat West Brom at home in the last game of the season on May 22nd.
The West Brom defense looked pitiful yesterday at Wolves, when Wolves got a rare 3-1 win, and their players worked their socks off for the Wolves cause, which was good to see.
And the poor West Brom performance gives us some hope that the lads can finish the season in style, but that game will be based on desire – which side wants the win more.
“None of us thought we were going to go down, but to definitely be safe is a relief,” he said.
“We needed to pick ourselves back up, because if we’d lost today and other teams had won it would have still looked a bit risky going into the last two games with Chelsea on Sunday. It was important we got to that 44 points now.”
“After last weekend we were so disappointed. It was the way we got beaten. A few things got said afterwards. Just because we got to 41 points, the season wasn’t over.”
Manchester United beat Chelsea 2-1 yesterday with a first goal after only 36 seconds from Hernandez, and what a player this boy has turned out to be for the Red Devils this season.
We are now hoping that maybe, just maybe, Newcastle can get something out of the game at Stamford Bridge next Sunday, but we’ll not hold our breath.
But probably the best Newcastle can do is 3 points from the last two games of the season, and that would put the team on 47 points, not too bad at all for a season in which we just needed to survive.
We have to give massive credit to our players for that.
Howay The Lads!!