I Can’t Fault Our Side – It’s All To Play For Now

Sometimes things go for you in a game and sometimes they don’t – and the latter was what happened to Newcastle last night against a good Metalist Kharkiv side, but manager Alan Pardew still thinks we have a decent chance to go through in the second leg next Thursday night in the Ukraine.

alan pardew in contemplative mood

Alan Pardew – his look tells it all last night

And in retrospect we were probably a bit unfair on the lads in our first report of the game immediately after the final whistle – and we said it was only slightly better than a mediocre performance – but it was in fact much better than that – and on the chances we had we could have won the game by a number of goals – with just a little bit of luck.

We have to remember the lads were up against a good side last night – Alan Pardew had this to say today to nufcTV:

“Both goals look onside from the replay.” “At the time I thought the first half was perhaps offside but that showed it wasn’t; the second one, I knew wasn’t offside. I just knew, the way the ball went in and the angle and everything.”

“I just doubted that one and was proved right. It’s difficult for us because we’ve played an almost perfect game. We’ve got a clean sheet, we were tough, we were fast, we were intelligent and we played some great football. We had some subs who changed it a little bit for us – a couple of moments from Sylvain Marveaux and Shola Ameobi’s presence made it a little bit more difficult for them.”

“So all in all, I expect to win and it’s hard to look the boys in the eye and say ‘you should have won’ because the two goals were onside. I think the fans knew it as well – the reaction from them at the end towards the officials said that – and it was a day for us where we really, really didn’t get the rub of the green.”

“But I can’t fault the team. That was an outstanding effort and they were a good side, a real good side with some great players who we kept quiet, particularly Willian on the left. Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa did a good job on him.”

“So it’s all to play for. We got a clean sheet and no away goal so a clean sheet sees us through after 90 minutes and that gives us something to lean on when we go there.” “But we’re going to need to play as well as that to get that.”

And the Newcastle U19 side kept their hopes alive yesterday in the Torneo di Viareggio as they beat Congo’s under-17 team 2-1 in Strettoia – with goals from Alex Gilliead and Greg Olley – and with the game last night that news got ignored a little.

Newcastle lost their first game to AC Milan 2-1 but the lads got a good three points yesterday afternoon – well done.

Note: we are trying to help out one of our readers – Northumbria University student Alex Redfern – who is doing research on the impact of Newcastle’s recent sponsorship deal with Wonga – please fill out Alex’s questionnaire on the topic if you can – and that will help his research – Alex needs another 100 replies to his questionnaire today – many thanks.

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