You’ve got to give huge credit to the Newcastle defense in particular and the Newcastle team in general today, the way they worked their socks off and played so well at Old Trafford.
And who knows, with a little bit more luck Aleksandar Mitrovic could have scored with that wonderful header he put in after 23 minutes which hit the cross-bar, and then when Newcastle had a three on one break in stoppage time, but Florian Thauvin just failed to reach Cisse’s cross (or was it a shot?) to score the winner on his debut.
Paul Dummett in action on last day of last season
But more than anything else, this will give the side confidence that we can defend and certainly Newcastle were put to the test today, and came away from Manchester with their first clean sheet of the season.
Fabricio Coloccini was the man who made it possible with a majestic performance at the heart of Newcastle’s defense, but we also saw goalkeeper Tim Krul in top form with a number of top saves.
It was Colo’s best game for a while for the team, and he was terrific at a stadium, where it’s very rare for the home time to be held goalless.
Newcastle will have two full backs returning after this game – the ones who were first choice last season – Daryl Janmaat and Paul Dummett.
Newcastle will play on Tuesday night at home to Northampton Town in the League Cup, and we could see Daryl Janmaat return for that game, after he missed out today through suspension after being sent off last Saturday.
But the Dutchman will have to play really well if he is to get his place back for the home game against Arsenal next Saturday.
Coloccini and Steven Taylor were great at the back for Newcastle against the Red devils, and they blocked shots and made some vital tackles and Mbemba and Haidara also put in good shifts in both full back positions.
Paul Dummett is now fit enough to resume full training on Monday, after he’s been fighting a hamstring injury in pre-season.
The Newcastle-born defender tweeted two messages after the draw today – one was congratulations to the lads, and one was the news he’s back in full training on Monday.
Great team work and spirit from the lads to earn a point at such tough place to go @NUFC
— Paul Dummett (@PaulDummett) August 22, 2015
It was a defensive performance that was good and a surprise given the resilience with which we held out – but we’d still like one new defender to be brought into the squad before the end of the transfer window.
It was also good to see all four new signings in the game, once Florian Thauvin came on after 69 minutes, and Florian made a good contribution – given he only joined us a few days ago.
It was a confidence building performance from Newcastle United today and points to better things ahead this season.