The Newcastle manager Alan Pardew was very rightly proud of his players after the game tonight – after his Newcastle United side put in a courageous and gutsy performance, and we got very close to winning it 2-0. Newcastle were 1-0 ahead after 71 minutes and had the chances to go 2-0 up – but we just couldn’t get that second all important goal.
Alan Pardew – being interviewed after the game
But two minutes into stoppage time Benfica broke away and scored – and 1-1 didn’t tell the story of this game – and you can hardly blame Newcastle for surging forward in stoppage time, because if we didn’t score a second goal, we were out in any case.
A very proud Alan Pardew had this to say after the game tonight to Ned Boulting of ITV:
“They are a good side – you can’t let them get a lead against you.” “In the first half we kept it tight and looked to nick a goal – and almost did that before half-time.”
“We had two or three big chances at 1-0, but you can’t ask for anything more from the crowd, the players.” “You’ve got to respect the opposition – technically they are a superb side.”
“I am so proud of the performance – we couldn’t have done any more.” “We’ve got some very good players – when we get them all back we’ve got a very good side.”
Alan is right that we have some great players, and we only need two or three top players in the summer, and keep our players fitter next season, but that should be easier with the few games we’ll play, and we can be pushing for another top six position in the Premier League, and hopefully back into Europe the season after next.
That has to be the goal for next season.
And next time in Europe we will have hopefully learned that you cannot have a small squad when you have European games – and we had 14 of them this season.
And considering the injuries Newcastle have had this season – the lads did fantastically well in Europe.
Now to hammer Sunderland on Sunday.
You can also reach Ed at email@example.com