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Defender Will Now Push For Regular Starting Place

Grant Hanley has had a tough time of it since he signed on for us from Blackburn Rovers last summer, but we still think lad can have a bright future at Newcastle under the expert coaching of Rafa Benitez.

What has impressed us with Grant is his maturity, leadership and professional attitude when he hasn’t played as much football this term as he would have liked at Newcastle.

But he started the game yesterday in place of captain Jamaal Lascelles and put in an assured display alongside Ciaran Clark.

Grant Hanley in action yesterday

And after we played really well in those first 70 minutes, Newcastle came under pressure in the late stages, much like we did against QPR on Wednesday night.

But we held on well this time for the win, but we should have put the game to bed with the chances we had – especially in the first half.

But a win is a win and we needed it yesterday after dropping those 2 points on Wednesday night.

And Newcastle are top of the Championship so we are not complaining – in fact we are simply delighted the lads got back to our winning ways and with a good performance too.

Hanley has spoken on the Newcastle web-site after the game:

“Results like that always feel a bit better when you’ve had to grind it out,”

“We knew it was going to be a tough game – they are a top side, and they have been a top side in the Championship as long as I can remember.”

“They were piling the pressure on at the end, playing it a bit longer – which is perhaps not their style of play.”

“The manager brought big Jamaal Lascelles on, so we had three big centre-halves on who love to head it.”

“We had to show a bit of spirit and character.”  “The atmosphere was not great after the result the other night, so it’s great to bounce back like that.”

“The fans here are brilliant – they turn up in their numbers every week – so after a game like Wednesday’s it is important to put it right.”

“It’s nice to get the win and be back on the track we want to be on.”

“Perhaps on the back of Wednesday night, the manager wanted us to make sure we were fully concentrated and organised, so we maybe had a wee edge to make sure we were right on it,”

“In the first half, we were picking up all of the second balls and we were really on top of the game.”

“For me, it’s nice to get some game-time. Playing alongside Ciaran, he is experienced, intelligent and always looking to organise, which is very important as a centre-back.”

“There are some really top players at this club, so whoever you’re playing with you know you’re playing with a really good player, so it’s really enjoyable.”

Good words there from Hanley and that was the first time he has started a Championship game since the first game of the season at Fulham.

We think Grant now has a good chance of starting the game next Saturday at Wolves in the late kick-off game.

We need another win then and we will have Christian Atsu back from the African Cup of Nations and maybe even Dwight Gayle. although Rafa will not take any chances with our top striker as he recovers from a long-standing hamstring problem.

Hopefully Jack Colback will also be fit, especially since Isaac Hayden went off injured at the start of the second half yesterday.

An excellent result and  good performance yesterday from the lads – they did very well indeed.

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Comments welcome.

6 comments so far

  • Jib

    Feb 5, 2017 at 8:30 AM

    Comment #1

    I know Ian Holloway said post match on Wednsday that Shelvey’s ascerbic nature is part of his package as a footballer and no one wants to to curb him too much.

    However the winding up at Molineux next Saturday will be unrelenting , he will have to face 90 minutes of solid sledging.

    Rafa has to take Jonjo to one side this week and tell him to do his talking against Wolves with his feet.

    The best answer for the 5 week ban is to play Wolverhampton Wanderers off the park.

  • expatmag

    Feb 5, 2017 at 8:33 AM

    Comment #2


    No chance of getting Mooy. City will overprice him dor sure.

    However, if Derby fail again, there ae rich pickings there

  • expatmag

    Feb 5, 2017 at 8:33 AM

    Comment #3

    Particularly Hughes and Keogh

  • hibbit

    Feb 5, 2017 at 8:33 AM

    Comment #4

    Charlie in the Gallowgate

    charlie i like Findley and think the kid is well worth a try

    My post was about Mitro chest beating ( Stephen Taylor style ) if he put as much effort in on the pitch as he does on the sideline he would be a world beater

  • expatmag

    Feb 5, 2017 at 8:37 AM

    Comment #5


    What better way to counteract this by naming him on the bench at the last moment, to counteract all their planning and then introduce him in the 2nd half to finish them off

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Feb 5, 2017 at 8:42 AM

    Comment #6


    We both got it right Friday – me playing Hanley and Mitro and you on his steven taylor chest beating.

    This is what I posted last night

    Just got in

    Much much better for 65 – 70 minutes – quicker tempo moved the ball should of been further ahead before we started to get nervous and pain.

    Lucky to collect the three points in the end – great header off the line by Yedlin and they missed to open goals. But all in all much better and the crowd were u for it today.

    Diame and Hanley made a big difference today

    Diame first half was excellent linking up the play in a more forward role – lost his impetus when dropped back like a third centre half leaving space for Derby to exploit.

    Mitrovich – waste of space and Hayden was not much better – looks like he is carrying a injury.

    Dummett my man of the match great tackle commanded the air and was good coming forward.

    Others that stood out Yedlin and Hanley

    Merit marks
    Darlow 7 did what he had to do until nerves crept i dropped a cross ad his kicking was poor.

    Yedlin 8 one of his best games in a TOON shirt but needs to get his crosses in

    Clark 7 Steady game bur again his distribution at the end was poor

    Hanley 8 Best game in a TOON shirt marshalled the back four and played a lot closer to Clark so no big hole through the middle for Derby to drive.

    Dummett 9 superb game for the TOON defended like a Trojan and got forward to link up – put a couple of good crosses in

    Ritchie 7 got lucky with deflection for goal but had a better game – still has to stop given needless free kicks away

    Shelvey 7 Quite today but still got involved and distribution was OK – linked up with Diame

    Diame 8 Excellent first half ran the show drove forward well and disrupted play – linked up with Shelvey – but drifted out of the game and went to deep when Derby were on the front foot

    Goufran 6 put in a lot of work tackled and did the dirty stuff but not as effective as he was earlier in the season

    Hayden 4 poor today looked a yard ad half off the pace – got caught in possession to many times – looked like he was carrying injury and no surprise he came off at half time.

    Mitrovich 4 Poor seems he does not want to head the ball looking for the defender to knock out the way and chest the ball down – had new boots on – looked like they were full off lead. Add – to be fair laid on goal.

    Sammi 2 not on long enough – don’t know if he touched the ball

    Lacsclles – not on long enough

    Perez 5 same again plenty of running but gets knocked off the ball to easy – yet nearly scored at the end – goalie was lucky should of had a free kick at least.

    RAFA 7 choice of team yes I agreed with his changes in starting eleven
    maybe got to rest Hayden. Me would of brought Murphy on for Mitro after a hour.

    Crowd 8 -10 sang most of the game but became anxious last twenty minutes when the TOON started to get nervous

    All – All – good result – yet should not of been hanging on at the end

    Ref 2 – piss poor like most in this league


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