It must be hard being a manager when you have said the lads will put up a good performance after the Fulham disaster, and then we lose to a lower league side in the FA Cup.
Alan Pardew it was a bit galling
And it’s not gone unnoticed that’s for the second year in a row Newcastle have been eliminated from the FA Cup by a lower league side, after the disaster of Stevenage last January.
It seems the TV people were expecting a shock result, because our game was put back to a late kick off game, and for the second weekend in a row the Newcastle game was televised live around the world, and we lost.
Alan Pardew is not blaming the players’ commitment, but the lads didn’t create too many chances, and those that we did create, we missed.
This is how Alan tried to explain it after the game:
Its just a bit galling really, Brighton are very good at pulling teams around and manoeuvring the ball around but they didnt really do that.
They had to dig in and be gritty and theyve nicked a goal on the break. You have to applaud them for that because they’ve had to defend very, very well.
But from our side were scratching our heads as to how weve not come away with at least a draw. The attitude of the players and commitment was good.
The balance was good. You just wanted that moment and sometimes its difficult to criticise players for not producing a moment, but thats what was missing.
It was tough on us. We had good control of the game, although we were hoping to threaten the goal a little bit more than we did.
Youre always liable to get caught on the break. We were unfortunate on the goal, I thought. Danny had just been booked and he couldnt really make the challenge.
He skipped past Danny and then there was a deflection, which I think was the only real shot theyve had of any threat. So it is disappointing.
Their goal was unfortunate, because when Will Buckley broke away Danny Simpson held his hands up and got out of the way, after he had already received one yellow card and didn’t want to get sent off for another poor challenge.
But then the Brighton player went unchallenged down the left wing, cut inside and put in a shot that was going wide, but then Mike Williamson turned it into his own net.
And we were suddenly 1-0 down and 14 minutes left to play, and my face was in my hands – for the second game running. 😀
And it seemed Newcastle should have had a penalty right before the end of the game, when the ball hit Ashley Barnes hand from a shot by Yohan Cabaye.
But the referee Lee Probert didn’t give it and probably didn’t see it – but what are the referee’s assistants doing these days?
Pardew talked about the possible penalty:
It was a big shout from our fans, I guessed it had hit a hand. But we havent had one of them all year. We must have had 11 penalties against us all year, weve hardly had a shout for a penalty from a referee. I didnt expect to get a break if Im honest.
We knew the game was important, because we have the core of our team still to come back. We had no Coloccini, no Cheick, Papiss or Demba. We knew if we could get through it with all that coming back, it would arm us.
But unfortunately it got away from us. Were in a good position in the league and we need to strengthen that by getting a result at Blackburn and hopefully against Villa too.
It’s a very disappointing result yesterday, but on the positive side of things we are still in 6th place in the league and with a good run-in to the end of the season we could still end up in a reasonable position in the league.
A Europa Cup spot is a possibility, but the reality is it will be hard to finish that high up, if our form does not improve quickly.
Of course, we have to remember we are without our top two strikers in Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse, and they would certainly have made a difference yesterday, as would have Ivorian Cheick Tiote in central midfield.
The two strikers will return to Newcastle tomorrow, after Senegal finish their program with a game against Libya tonight, and so they could be available for the Blackburn game.
And that’s especially true if they don’t play tonight, which is likely.
And even after the defeat yesterday Demba Ba sent this tweet out
Cant wait to get back! From a competition to another! PL top half of the table++++++
A win on Wednesday night at Ewood Park will do a lot to lift the spirits of Newcastle fans, and who knows, we may still finish up high up in the league table and end the season on a successful note.
There’s still a lot to play for in the league – so here’s hoping.