Alan Pardew joined his team after the victory over Sunderland on Saturday, and hailed his side’s stubborn spirit, which at the end of the day gave Newcastle another win over Sunderland.
Alan Pardew – at Sunderland yesterday
The winning goal was scored by Ryan Taylor, who would not have been in the side if Newcastle had signed a left-back replacement for the departed Jose Enrique last week.
But Ryan scored with a terrific free kick after 62 minutes, that was the difference between the two sides.
But the win today showed the Newcastle team may not be as poor or bereft of talent as some have suggested, and when you have spirit of course, anything is possible.
Newcastle showed that in February in their magnificent comeback from 4-0 down against Arsenal.
While Newcastle did not play well at the Stadium of Light, some stalwart performances, particularly from captain Fab Coloccini, Steven Taylor, and goalkeeper Tim Krul, meant that Newcastle kept a second clean sheet in as many games.
And in the second half Jonas Gutierrez and Joey Barton also gave strong performances.
Sunderland were fancied to win the game on Saturday after their investment in the transfer market in the summer brining in 10 new players.
And it looked like going that way in the first half, but Tim Krul made crucial saves when it mattered, and Coloccini led the side by example with another Man of the Match performance from the new Newcastle captain.
Sunderland again had a man sent off, and this time it was Phil Bardsley, sent off after 89 minutes for a dangerous and bad tempered tackle on Coloccini, that required the Argentine to have treatment for a few minutes before he could carry on.
And of course only 15 minutes into the game, new signing Seb Larsson got away with a blatant hand-ball, that should have had him sent off and Newcastle awarded a penalty, but the referee and his assistants missed it, but strangely still gave a corner to Newcastle.
Pardew talked of the Newcastle spirit, which certainly seems still strong in the squad:
“We have shown that the spirit at this club is still very much there.”
“This brings everybody together. My staff are looking forward to going into town tonight and sharing that with the fans, and that’s what it’s about. I will join them for a couple and I will enjoy it too.”
“Football is about that winning mentality and sometimes, you can have that winning mentality and not win, but you can be pushing and pushing, and that’s what we have got to do all season.”
“We had load of heroes today but Ryan Taylor for the goal and our centre-backs Fabricio Coloccini and Steven Taylor all deserve special mentions.”
Newcastle are building a good winning mentality, as two stubborn and spirited performances against Arsenal and Sunderland have garnered the side 4 points, without Newcastle playing anywhere near what they are capable of.
Next up are Scunthorpe United on Thursday night in the Carling Cup, and then Fulham at home at 1:00 pm next Sunday in the league.
Newcastle may even start to play well, and two wins in those games and things will really be flying at Newcastle.