Steve McClaren was pleased with the performance of the lads yesterday but he knows there is still a lot of work to do – especially on defense – but when you consider that Coloccini hadn’t played since last May and he had never played with new boy Chancel Mbemba – the team did very well to get a 2-2 draw against a good Southampton side.
Steve McClaren – we have a lot to work do
After the game yesterday this is what Steve McClaren had to say on nufcTV talking to Dan King, the Newcastle United Digital Editor:
“Yeah, I think you know two good teams. Southampton we know – we didn’t know beforehand and we’ve come away knowing yeah, there’s some very, very positive things and we need to build on that.”
“There’s probably another 30%-40% we can improve on once we’ve got the fitness levels up and players who haven’t played minutes start playing.”
“You know it was their only shot in the first-half, and I thought we were unlucky because we had chances before that, opportunities, maybe a penalty – and then we went a goal down, but we didn’t go flat.”
“I think that was the key thing. It didn’t affect us, we kept going forward and deserved the equalizer and then the second goal was just fantastic.”
“We kind of said play what you see and when you’ve got intelligent players you can do that so it was good work from a corner and excellent finish so we are pleased about that.”
“We felt we needed a bit of pace and a bit of width on that side and Gabby can provide us that – he showed us in pre-season – he did well and the sign was they took their right back off, so that was good and they put another defender on.”
“But it was a great goal and one of them where he’s so quick and so strong that’s what we wanted him to do – run that way once the ball was played – but what a cross and what a finish.”
“Both Southampton goals came from headers and that’s disappointing when we didn’t stop the crosses, not dealing with them – but Pelle’s very good at that.”
“The second goal was disappointing and that’s something – that and the set-plays we have a lot to work on, but there were a lot of positives.
In fact in the first half Tim Krul did make two good saves from shots that were on target.
But it was also true their goal came out of the blue after 25 minutes when Newcastle had been the better side early in the game, and we should have been ahead by then.
But this team hasn’t played together much, and as Steve says we have to do better defending from both crosses and set plays in general and that’s what they will be doing this week in training.
We are at Swansea on Saturday, so it doesn’t get any easier, and Steve said he thought the south Wales side should have beaten Chelsea on Saturday.
Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois had been sent off just after half time after giving away a penalty – and that changed the game.
We’ll do well to take something out of the game on Saturday at the Liberty Stadium.
What do you think?