There’s no doubt it was a tough game and Newcastle won yesterday without eight of their first team squad, who were all out injured.
Alan Pardew – we won a battle yesterday
Those players were Steven Taylor, Leon Best, Sylvian Marveaux, Sammy Ameobi, Peter Lovenkrands, Ryan Taylor, Cheick Tiote and Gabby Obertan.
And the first five listed are probably out for the season, although Marveaux and Sammy Ameobi may have a chance of playing before the end of the season.
So in that context it was a good squad win yesterday for Newcastle, and players were asked to play out of position and all did well, and as Alan has said, we managed to win the battle.
And we wont even mention Alan Smith who is out on loan at MK Dons.
This is what manager Alan Pardew told the local media immediately after the game yesterday:
“Over the last three games against Sunderland, Arsenal and now Norwich, I think we’ve deserved four points, just for squad commitment to try to win a game, and that’s what we did today.”
“Dan Gosling hasn’t had much football but he had to play a role. James Perch had to play a role in central midfield. Everybody’s pulling to try and get us the finish that we need. Winning today has made our European qualification task do-able.”
“Had we lost then it wouldn’t have.” “We were not firing on all cylinders and I can say that. I can look at my team and know we’re not balanced or at our best. And winning when you’re not at your best is a great thing to have.”
“Mike Ashley said to me after the Sunderland game that it was fantastic theater – but there wasn’t much theatre today.” “What there was, was a real professionalism on the pitch.”
“You have to say that both teams put in a stint and in a way stopped each other from playing a little bit.” “The flair players could maybe have produced a little bit more je ne sais quoi but my goodness, we did battle and we won a battle.”
With Newcastle finally picking up all three points for the first time in the last five league games, it will now be important to keep winning if we are to qualify for the Europa League.
Next up is a game at West Brom next Sunday afternoon, with the same kick-off time as yesterday (4:00 pm), and the game will again be televised live around the world.
Just like with Norwich City, we lost our first game against West Brom 3-2 at St. James’ Park just before Christmas, and we therefore have even more reason to go all out for 3 points.
After West Brom, we have a plum home game against Liverpool, followed by an away game at Swansea, and both those games will be very tough.
We have to hope we can get Cheick Tiote, Ryan Taylor and Gabby Obertan back for the game at the Hawthorns next Sunday.
But there’s no doubt it was an excellent result for Newcastle yesterday, and we are now on 47 points from 29 games for the season and in 6th position.
That’s 5 points clear of Liverpool who have a game in hand and play at QPR on Wednesday night.
QPR are due a win, having not picked up a win in any of their last 6 league games.
Here’s hoping. 😀
Howay The Lads!!