40-year-old Lee McCulloch, the former Wigan Athletic and Rangers player, has praised Newcastle after we got our first win of the season last Saturday.
It was a tale of two halves with Watford being well on top in the first 45 minutes, but Newcastle came back superbly in the second half thanks to subs Perez, Schar and Ki, who all had impressive games.
Perez got his first goal of the season after 65 minutes, and that was the winner although Watford went very close to equalizing in stoppage time.
Ayoze Perez – after scoring the winner against Watford
This is what McCulloch told BBC 5 Live.
“This season for Newcastle has obviously been very, very disappointing,”
“The first half against Watford they should have been three or four goals down (true).”
“Second half, I think Rafa has changed the tactics, they’ve pressed higher, they’ve passed the ball faster and the fans played their part today.”
“The substitutes played their part, especially – Deulofeu going off for Watford, and Ki and Perez coming on making the difference and winning the game with a set play.”
“I think this is the start of Newcastle’s season, you can tell that after the goal – the confidence game flooding back, albeit the last 10-15 minutes was nail-biting stuff.”
“But the leaders stood out, they stood up to be counted and the game management at the end was tremendous.”
Our lads were nothing less than heroic on Saturday especially the way they fought to keep the lead in those final 25 minutes.
Now we want exactly the same thing against the Cherries on Saturday at St. James’ Park but with an improved first-half display.
What do you think?