Alan Pardew had talked at the end of last season that one area that Newcastle had to improve on for this coming season was set-plays, and one thing he was going to do was bring in a center-back who could help get us some goals from the set-plays.
Steven Taylor got a good run-out last night
Last night at Den Haag right-back Ryan Taylor was able to set up a number of chances from dead ball situations, but Newcastle didn’t take any of them, although to be fair, we were very close on two or three occasions.
But Newcastle couldn’t get the one goal that would have given us our third victory of pre-season, although we have only lost one game so far, the first one by 1-0 at Chemnitzer FC in Germany, back on Friday 13th July.
Alan Pardew talked to nufcTV after the game last night:
“The grass was really long.” “So when you want to cut through teams and play fast, quick football, the pitch isn’t going to allow that. It makes it difficult.”
“But we should have won the game. We had four or five great set plays and we’ve got to score those.” “There was only going to be one winner in my opinion but just couldn’t open the moment.”
“We perhaps lacked a little bit of creativity and flair, so that’s something we need to work on.” “I’m a bit disappointed that we haven’t won, but the overriding factor is that everybody gave everything.”
“There were no injuries as well, which is another big plus.” “We came off and everybody looks like they are ready for Tuesday. We go to Hartlepool and will try to win there.”
One very positive thing this summer is that Newcastle have not picked up many injuries, as Alan points out, and only Shane Ferguson with a troublesome hamstring injury has not seen any action yet in pre-season – and everybody else is fit, including Dan Gosling, who returned from his slight hip injury last night.
So all in all, the pre-season has been fairly good, and a win at Cardiff City Stadium next Saturday afternoon, will see Newcastle ready for Tottenham on 18th August, and we should be able to get our first win of the season. :D.