Alan Pardew was simply delighted with the performance of his team yesterday, and especially in the second half.
Danny Guthrie challenges Jamie Mackie in yesterday’s game
The game turned when Yohan Cabaye had to leave the field with an ankle injury after 20 minutes, and Ryan Taylor again showed his versatility as the emergency central midfielder and did very well, and Danny Guthrie had a terrific game to ensure Cabaye was not missed.
When Cabaye went off it meant that only Davide Santon, who had another very strong game, was the only man on the field who was brought in over the summer, and the lads got the job done.
Up until the time Yohan had to leave the field it had been all QPR, but the jolt of losing one of Newcastle’s best players seemed to be a positive jolt to the home team.
Leon Best scored the all important goal that gave Newcastle all three points after 37 minutes, and he showed class and skill to put the ball into the back of the net, after sending one of th QPR defenders the wrong way.
His goal was met with thunderous roars from the Newcastle crowd, which was just under 50,000, and Leon looked absolutely delighted to score his first goal since September 17th at Villa park in the 1-1 draw, and it took his total to four for the season.
Alan praised the players who were all here last season:
“A lot of these players did the job for us at the back end of last season,” “Danny Guthrie’s come away as the man of the match and Best’s got the goal and that will give us confidence going forward.”
“There’s money available to me and I think we’ll take a player if we think they will work for us, financially and for the team. I’ve got a really tight bunch here, we’ve got Hatem Ben Arfa coming alive.”
“He’s making little cameos and getting stronger. His work-rate was terrific, and his play defensively.” “We find ourselves sixth above Liverpool after 21 games and not only because of what happened yesterday.”
“It’s now about the next period of games. If we can get a couple of wins before the lads come back from the African Cup of Nations, we’ll get a huge boost.”
“That question will be better answered when we get through this period without two great players, because Cheick and Ba are great players,”
“We’ve overcome two hurdles since they’ve been away – Blackburn, which was a tough game we won and we won again yesterday, so so far flying colors.”
Ben Arfa coming alive was a good way to put it because when he came on when Cabaye left the field on a stretcher, he looked full of confidence and in great form, and he worked his tail off for the side.
It’s hard to ask much more than that from a mercurial player, whom Alan is wary of starting because of his poor work rate at times, but his work rate yesterday was simply tremendous.
Newcastle are now level on points with Arsenal with 36 points, but are behind because of a slightly inferior goal difference to the London side, who lost 3-2 at Swansea in a later game.
A win at Fulham on Saturday could see Newcastle consolidate that position, or even move up into 5th place in the league.
That cannot be bad at this stage of the season, after 21 league games played.
Howay The Lads!!