Heerenveen (a) UEFA Cup Third Round 1st Leg
24 mins Bramble looked in no danger when he was first to the ball ahead of Arnold Bruggink but inexplicably turned into the striker and was dispossessed. Bruggink fed Huntelaar who turned superbly before firing in an unstoppable left-foot drive in off the bar from 15 yards. 0-1
Half time: Heerenveen 1 Newcastle 0
neat pass put
through and Al lashed the ball past Brian Vandenbussche,
moments after trying to place his shot from a similar position and seeing it
hit the Heerenveen 'keeper.
82 mins Stephen Carr crossed from the right and Bowyer back-heeled the ball into the far corner of the net from ten yards - a goal not dissimilar to that scored by Kluivert at Palace last November. 2-1
Full time: Heerenveen 1 Newcastle 2
Assistant manager Alan Murray attended the post-match press call and said:
"We needed to put ourselves in a position that we can go through in the home leg at St James' and we have done that. We are not through and we will not be taking Heerenveen lightly. We will treat them with respect.
"They are good enough to come back but we are in a strong position. The fans see Newcastle as a really big team and a big team in Europe and I think they get a little bit impatient."
"They want success immediately. It
didn't happen tonight, but it came in the end and the players turned that
"We should take a great deal of
confidence from the game in Holland.
Goalscorer Alan Shearer said:
"I do not know a bad time to score a goal but I was very pleased to see it go in.
"We found ourselves 1-0 down in the first half because of a defensive mistake but that is all that was between the two sides.
"It was not pretty to watch at times but we knew for the last 25-30 minutes they would tire and would not be able to keep up such a high tempo.
"We knew our fitness would tell in the end. The manager changed things slightly by pushing Patrick Kluivert up front and bringing on Laurent Robert to give us a bit of width.
"That is when the spaces opened up and thankfully we were able to take our chances.
"It was a very professional performance in the end. Maybe it was not pretty until the end but these games rarely are and you have to make the most of what you get."
"If people are still telling us we have the best record in three months then great, it will mean something.
"We know we have not done ourselves justice in the past few games and that we should be higher in the league table.
"However, we also know with a win in Heerenveen and another against Chelsea on Sunday suddenly everything in the garden will seem rosy again.
"We got to the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup last season and fell at the last hurdle and I am confident we can at least get that far again this time."
Patrick Kluivert told the Chronicle:
"I would like to stay at Newcastle if I can. I did not come here to play for fun. I have come to a great club and I want to perform well and I want to stay.
"I have to prove something to the people of Newcastle and I want to do that. All I ask for is a little bit of patience. The fans have not seen the best of me but if they are patient, and I think they are, then we can have a nice time together.
"It is normal for most of the players who come from a different country into the Premiership to need time to settle. It is not easy."
"I played more up front in the second half, which is where my usual position is, and I felt very comfortable. I am glad we won and now I am very excited about the FA Cup game with Chelsea on Sunday.
"They are doing very well and if you make mistakes they are like hyenas. We would like to spoil their chances and I am looking forward to the game - but it will be down to the manager what team he picks."
Heerenveen boss Gertjan Verbeek said:
"It was a good match tonight but it
went on too long for us. We had no power left in the second half.
A very similar set of circumstances to that which greeted us in Sochaux were repeated here in the Friesland area of Northern Holland as our UEFA Cup campaign just about kept on track.
Another low-profile but competent opponent demonstrating decent domestic form and housed in a modern stadium ultimately proved incapable of withstanding us when we kicked on and started to assert ourselves.
However, while we had gained a lead we never really looked like losing by the half hour mark in the Stade Auguste Bonal, here in the Abe Lenstra the boot was on the other foot and shortly after half time our continued inability to cause Heerenveen problems had away supporters imploring their side to "attack, attack, attack."
By this stage it was
just like the old days - toon fans standing among a sub 20,000 crowd voiced
their anger at the club hierarchy. All that was missing was old baldy heid Jim
Smith and a Greenalls' logo on the strip.
Laurent Robert came on down the left, meaning we could revert to 4-4-2, rather than the 4-3-1-2 that had seen Kluivert playing behind Shola and Shearer, with none of them looking particularly predatory.
This paid dividends within 10 minutes with Shearer's goal and from then on there was only going to be one winner - although Bramble surpassed his earlier rick by presenting the ball straight to Mika Vayrynen to run in on goal, only for to Given to produce a tremendous stop and save our blushes.
Bowyer then inexplicably patted the ball away
with his hand and received a second yellow but the ten men held firm to secure a
vital away win without too many problems, late sub Steven Taylor reprising the
Shearer clock running down round the corner flag routine - nice to see someone
takes notice of what other players do.
View from the away end 1
View from the away end 2
Second half action
Songs of Praise