Steve McClaren took an enormous amount of criticism last week after the disgrace at Crystal Palace when we were annihilated 5-1 by Alan Pardew’s new side.
But it seems that Steve and his players put in a good week’s work on the training field last week – stayed under the radar screen – and then put in their best performance of the season yesterday.
In what was totally unexpected – Newcastle won the game 2-0 against a resurgent Liverpool side under new manager Jurgen Klopp.
Steve McClaren congratulates Man of the Match Gini Wijnaldum
And not only that – but we deserved the win which is maybe even more surprising given our form over the previous two games.
This is what Steve McClaren said after the game and he touched on a number of points:
“Let’s hope it’s a light bulb moment that turns it round,” “This gives us a chance. It saves me from banging my head against the wall tonight and wondering what I’m going to do next week.”
“It’s been a tough two weeks.” “The team have taken a lot of criticism and rightly so and they gave the only response they can give – on the field. We were nervous at the beginning but this was a deserved win.”
“We’ve shown that if you work hard you’ve got a chance of winning. We’ve shown what we’re capable of doing.” “This team’s got talent, it’s got ability and once we got belief and confidence we show we’ve got good players. This was a huge, huge test for us.“
“We’ve now got to do it again next week and the week after but we’ve shown we can win football matches. We really believe in these players but they’re young and their confidence can be knocked easily. Hopefully having come through this we’ll be a lot stronger.”
“I’d considered leaving all of them out,” “But I’m not getting carried away. There’s a lot of work to do but hopefully they’re learning that, if they stick together, they’ll come through. Credit to Coloccini, he’s had a lot of stick but that was a real captain’s performance from him.”
“With a minute to go I thought we’d probably concede two.” “My emotion at the end was sheer relief. We’ll enjoy this for 24 hours.”
With Steve being under so much pressure you’ve got to admire the way he got the players prepared for this game and after a bit of a nervous start – when we could have conceded an early goal – our lads grew into the game.
It provided a terrific win for everybody associated with Newcastle – after what has been a nightmare season and a nightmare year for the club.
We are hoping for better things ahead both this year and next year.