Newcastle’s battling performance yesterday after we went behind at Reading, was the reason we came away with a point from the Madejski Stadium, but in truth the performance was not acceptable, and we will have to improve a lot in the coming weeks, if we are to start climbing that Premier League table.
Steve Harper – saved Newcastle yesterday with two great saves
Just like at Goodison Park in our last away game, Newcastle were behind twice yesterday, but battled back both times with goals from the indomitable Demba Ba, to take away a vital point, although before the game we were hoping for a win against the bottom placed side in the league.
But the performance just wasn’t good enough from our lads, and in the end we were a bit lucky to get the draw, and it was thanks to two excellent saves from Newcastle’s veteran goalkeeper Steve Harper, who was making his 195th appearance for the Newcastle first team.
This is what Steve Harper said on the Newcastle website after the game:
“Yes, given our performance.” “Only our battling spirit got us a point today.” “Our performance wasn’t good enough and the gaffer’s certainly let the lads know in no uncertain terms that it wasn’t acceptable.”
“What we have got here is spirit but when you come away from home you have to earn the right to play and we didn’t do that today.” “The first half was okay. We knew if we were better second half than we were first, we could come away with a win but it wasn’t to be.”
“We knew they put the ball in the box a lot and to expect a lot of crosses and one or two goals have came from that so it was disappointing in that respect. But if you don’t win, don’t lose and that could end up being a big point for us.” “It was important at the time, late on.”
“That was probably the most I’ve ever had to do in the air in a game as well – the most crosses I think I’ve ever had in 20 years!” “But the pleasing part is obviously not the performance of the team today but just the battling spirit again which will hopefully see us go a long way this season even if performances do need to pick up.”
“The technique for the first goal was absolutely sensational; to hit it first time, a ball like that, on target and to beat the goalkeeper is fantastic.” “And it was a great header on the second one. That’s what happens – he’s up there to score goals and he’s doing that, and showing what a top striker he is.”
By the way, Steve dealt with all the crosses in great style yesterday, and he was as safe as houses, as he usually is in the Newcastle goal, and he still looks like a top class goalkeeper to us.
Steve hasn’t seen the replay of that second goal obviously, and while it certainly looked like a header, it wasn’t, and Demba put the ball into the goal with his right hand – although he said it was purely accidental.
We were lucky yesterday and the performance just wasn’t good enough, so we hope for an improvement in our next game against Bordeaux in the Europa League on Thursday night, when we should be able to field a stong side, with the game being at home and no travelling involved.
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org
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