Another brace from Ayoze Perez, whose first goal came within the first minute of the game got Newcastle off to a good start and although we were only 1-0 up at the half, the lads kept going and by the end of the game we had a comfortable 3-0 win and really controlled the game throughout.
Certainly the crowd of just under 52,000 went home (very) happy with another professional performance from a Newcastle side who are becoming very tough mentally and know how to win games this season.
That’s a big difference from last season when we knew how to lose games and found ways to achieve that outcome far too many times.
Matt Ritchie after scoring yesterday
We have now won 12 games of our 16 games in total this season – and if leave out the first two defeats in the league we have 12 wins in the last 14 games.
One of our star players this season has been winger Matt Richie and the 27-year-old thinks the lads are getting to know each either better and how they play.
Matt thinks the team is getting better – as Rafa had predicted it would.
This is what Matt said on the Newcastle website after the game:
“Everyone’s getting to know each other, and it’s that time in the season now where people are really learning their jobs.”
“We had a lot of new bodies and ideas at the start of the season and maybe not everyone was quite on the same wavelength, and now I think that we’re all coming together.”
“Personally for me, I feel like I know what Dwight’s going to do, I know what Jonjo’s going to do, I know what Jack’s going to do, and everyone’s learning with the players around them.”
“There are relationships all over the pitch with everyone – whoever plays throughout the whole squad, we train together and have different partnerships in training, and I feel that’s really shown in the way we attack.”
“That’s what a good team does. It’s about relationships on the pitch, and working off each other.”
“I think that we’ve got a good bond, and a good blend throughout the team. We’ve got a bit of everything in the team as well.”
“The early goal helped, but to be honest the first half was a little bit bitty, and we didn’t really get going.”
“But we controlled the game throughout, I’d say, and it’s really pleasing to get the goals in the second half, because that just put them out of sight then.”
“I’m really pleased. We’ve had some good results of late. Going back a couple of weeks, we had a big game here and got beaten against Wolves, so it’s nice to continue the run.”
“And we’ve obviously learned from that little bit of complacency, if that’s what it was. It was a good three points, and a really positive day.”
“We just need to hang in there. It’s a long season and it’s early days. We’ve managed to stay calm and grounded with our feet on the floor and remain focussed.”
“With all of that, we’ll hopefully continue to win games.”
We play an in-form Preston side in the EFL Cup 4th round on Tuesday night and if we can win that we will be in the quarter finals.
Preston have just beaten the two clubs that were above us in the league during the International break – Huddersfield in mid-week and then Norwich yesterday at Carrow Road.
They beat Huddersfield at home 3-1 last Wednesday night and then beat Norwich 1-0 yesterday at Carrow Road and they are now unbeaten in their last 7 games in all competitions.
So they are not to be taken lightly and we also play them at Deepdale on Saturday afternoon – two tough games coming up.
We need two more wins.
Howay The Lads!!