One of the (many) pleasing aspects of Newcastle’s play this season is when new players come into the side they seem to fit right in and know exactly what’s expected of them.
Ciaran Clark came in for Chancel Mbemba last night at center-back and he looked extremely solid and comfortable alongside captain Jamaal Lascelles.
Two goalscorers – center-backs Grant Hanley and Ciaran Clark
In addition the former Aston Villa player scored his first goal for the club, as did our other new center-back signing – former Blackburn Rovers defender Grant Hanley – who came on as a sub in the second half.
After the game this is what Ciaran told the local press:
“I was buzzing to score.” “I wasn’t too worried about Mitro in front of me.”
“I just tried to keep my eye on the ball and make sure I got a good connection, and thankfully it went in.”
“With the quality of the set-pieces coming in, we’ve always got a chance of getting on the end of them.”
“Jonjo and Matty are brilliant with corners and free-kicks and we are a real threat from them now.”
“We practice it in training and thankfully it came off out there and I managed to get my head on one.”
“We knew it was going to be a tough game but we managed to get off to a good start and it just went from there.”
“We looked dangerous, we created a lot of chances and we could have scored more, but more importantly, we managed to keep another clean sheet, which is something we really wanted to do.”
“We knew that at 2-0, if QPR had got one back it would have been a totally different game.”
“Thankfully we came out after half-time and got a couple more which did seal the game – and then it was all about concentration and making the right decisions, which I felt we did.”
“Keeping a clean sheet was massive. It’s something we have been working on and something we want to continue to do.”
“That’s your foundations to build from, as if you can keep a clean sheet then you’ve got a chance in any game.” “We are just as happy with the clean sheet as we are with all the goals.”
And we are scoring so many goals these days from set plays – from corners and from free kicks and as Ciaran says the lads practice it during training and it shows.
Practice makes perfect.
Under Alan Pardew didn’t we go seven years without scoring from a corner – or so it seemed – yes – maybe a slight exaggeration there.
Rafa certainly has our players well schooled in their outlook on the game and concentration is certainly key to getting the wins that can take us straight back to the Premier League.
And our lads have been concentrating extremely well during our six game winning streak – and we are hoping we can extend it by a few more games yet.
Howay The Lads!!