Apart from the two goals we conceded at Norwich the Newcastle defense has been a lot more solid of late and last night’s 2-0 win against Aston Villa was our third clean sheet in the last four games.
That’s since we conceded two goals at home to QPR in the 2-2 draw and another 2 points lost late in that game.
Karl Darlow – good confidence-boosting game last night
Karl Darlow has been in good form for the team apart form his catastrophic error at Norwich last week and both full-backs Paul Dummett and DeAndre Yedlin seem to be improving steadily as the season progresses.
Our two center-backs Jamaal Lascelles and Ciaran Clark both had strong games last night too and they are both good in the air.
It was also pleasing to see Karl Darlow have a good game last night and he made a couple of good saves.
One was in the first half when he tipped a menacing cross over the cross-bar and then in the second half when he saved at point-blank range.
Karl has improved this season and certainly the mental aspect of his game seems to be very strong.
This is what Karl said on the Newcastle web-site after the game:
“I just needed to get back on track after the Norwich game, so I was happy with the saves.”
“It’s nice for me to contribute towards the team and with the second one especially, at 2-0, it might have changed things.”
“It’s good for me, but we were solid at the back again, never really gave them much, and that was key.”
“I was just excited to play again, to be honest – this game couldn’t come quick enough for me.”
“It was one of those where I was looking forward to getting back out on the pitch and getting back to what I have been doing.”
“It’s nice to have left that behind me now, and to have kicked on.”
“I think we’re on a good run here. We’ve had a couple of draws, but I think we’ve won four or five recently and if we keep this up until the end of the season, we’ll be looking really good,”
“They played some good stuff, Villa, but I thought we stuck to the game plan well.” “We kept it tight and we knew that we’d have opportunities.”
“We got the second goal and then I think we dominated, really – we had chances and we were playing some god stuff.”
“It was a good victory, a solid victory and we’re very pleased with it.”
“You’re going to have patches where it’s up and down in this league, and we’ve not really – touch wood – hit a bad patch.”
“As long as we keep on grinding out results and doing what we have done tonight, we’ll look very good for the end of the season.”
And goalkeeping coach Simon Smith tweeted some congratulations to the 26 year-old goalkeeper, who has become a fan favorite because of his excellent attitude and his good goalkeeping both this season and last season.
Good goalkeeping is about making saves at important times (0v0)(1v0) to keep your team in the game and inspire team mates !
— simon smith (@simonsmithgk) February 21, 2017