Steve McClaren seemed happy enough about the five day trip to La Manga in Spain after a Newcastle side beat Lillestrom 2-1 yesterday afternoon in what turned out to be a decent test for Newcastle from the Norwegian side, who are preparing for the Tippeligaen, which begins next month.
A number of our players who needed games got them and there was real promise shown in the game by three of our youngsters – Liam Gibson, Jamie Sterry and Rolando Aarons who got the winning goal after coming on as a sub after 66 minutes.
Seydou Doumbia played the full 90 minuets yesterday
This is what the Newcastle manager said after the game:
“In these type of games you are thinking ‘Don’t kick anybody, just play’. But they were aggressive so we had to be on our toes.” “In the end we played to the conditions better in the second half and got the win.”
“We said before the game against Lillestrom it was going to be tough. We knew they’d have energy and attitude.” “The conditions were very difficult to play in and we had to compete.”
“Everything is leading up to the Stoke game.”
It was nice to get the win yesterday in the friendly, but it’s nothing more than that and the only games that matter now are the 12 remaining league games – and we must get ourselves out of trouble – the sooner the better.
The Stoke City game will be huge for Newcastle after the disgraceful showing at Chelsea – and the lads have to prove they can compete with other Premier League teams away from home.
Our pathetic record of only three results (other than defeats) in 13 games away from home – two wins and a draw – show just how weak the mental strength of this squad of players really is.
That’s not good when you are fighting against relegation when courage and guts are major ingredients that can save us.