Good sides find a way to win, and when they are under pressure they are resilient and don’t break.
Ryan Taylor goal – the ball sailed in from the free kick
And the good news is that’s what Newcastle have looked like in their first two games of the season , a resilient defense in both games, and today at Sunderland the lads found a way to win.
Anybody watching the first half wouldn’t have thought Newcastle could come away with a win and a clean sheet, but that’s exactly what the lads achieved today.
Newcastle haven’t played great in the first two games, that’s very true, but we now have 4 points from two difficult games.
And Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has hailed his side’s performance, because the lads showed grit and toughness, especially in the first half today, when Sunderland were the better side.
Ryan Taylor’s beautiful free kick after 63 minutes, which sailed into the top left hand corner, gave Newcastle the 1-0 win.
It could have been much easier for Newcastle however, because Seb Larsson was seen to handle a Joey Barton header from a corner after 15 minutes, and it should have been a penalty and Larsson should have been sent off.
But referee Howard Webb talked to his assistant and they disallowed the claims, but TV replays suggested it was a deliberate hand ball by the Swede.
Pardew though that incident had a big impact on the game:
“The penalty changed the course of the game to a degree.” “By the players’ reactions you could tell – he had obviously handled it and should have gone off.”
“But I see Howard Webb looking around and I knew he had not seen it so that was out the window and then we were relying on the linesman, and he didn’t see it and I thought it affected us and let it get to us and we kind of carried it with us.”
“We struggled in that period of the game but we stuck with our system, we changed a couple of things at half-time, and it worked for us, we had more care and had more of the ball.”
“I just thought we had that composure and when you’re away that does help.” “We should have won last year and even played better last year and we went home really disappointed, so today we saw it over the line and perhaps it was reward for that.”
To give Pardew some credit in both games this season, he’s changed things at half time and Newcastle have come on in the second half and looked a lot better.
And of course Newcastle today scored from a set piece, which the lads have been concentrating on in training in pre-season.
Alan will now experience what it’s like winning a Newcastle – Sunderland derby as a Newcastle manager, and will be celebrating tonight.
It doesn’t really matter we didn’t play too well today, because the result is 99% of it, as Alan will find out, as he thinks it will be good for the staff and the squad:
“It brings everyone together, my staff are looking forward to going to town tonight and sharing it with the fans and I will join them for one or two and enjoy it, and that is what it is all about sometimes,”
“You cannot argue with our two games, Arsenal at home, Sunderland away – maybe experts are saying we would get one point, but to get four points that is a real tick in the box.”
“The spirit is still there, which we were applauded for last year, but even with the new players that is still there.”
It’s been a decent start to the season, but we now have the Carling Cup tie at Scunthorpe on Thursday night, and a 1:00 pm kick off game at home on Sunday against a decent Fulham side.
Two wins in those games and Tyneside will be buzzing again.