Alan Pardew has today criticized the Newcastle defense for their poor play that allowed Cardiff City to come back from a goal down and win the game on Saturday, and knock an impotent Newcastle side out of the FA Cup, and we failed at the first hurdle for the second year running and for the third time in four years under Alan Pardew.
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Pardew thought his side were vulnerable from set pieces, as he had this to say to the local press:
“We were fairly in control of the game with about 15 minutes to go, and we lost that period of the game.” “It was the crucial period. They got a bit of a wonder goal to equalizer, but the second goal was poor. We’ve got to do a lot better than that.”
“It was a free header in our six-yard box. We should have done better.” “And we should have kicked on when we got the goal. We didn’t do that, so those mistakes cost us.”
“We had a whole new back five, and other than set-plays, I thought they played OK, if I’m honest.” “But at set-plays, we looked vulnerable, and I’m afraid that can make the difference, like it did.”
Pardew made very few changes in the four league games in 11 days before this game, but he was forced to change the defense with Coloccini injured at West Brom and Debuchy suspended.
But the manager also chose this game to rest Mike Williamson, and in retrospect that was probably a mistake, and there was no continuity at all, and it was essentially a whole new defense from the West Brom defeat, with Tim Krul also out injured.
Mike will come back into the side for the home game against Manchester City on Sunday, and maybe Steven Taylor will be the one to give way, but Mathieu Debuchy still has two games to serve in his suspension for being sent off at West Brom.
We’ve also lost the last four league games at home to Manchester City, so we suppose there’s a possibility it will be four defeats on the trot .
But you just never know with this Newcastle side – and now they do have something to prove to their fans – so they could surprise us on the upside.
If we had won on Saturday, we’d have been at Bolton Wanderers in round four – and that would not have been a particularly good draw for us.
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