Rio Ave (a) Friendly
5mins Diego made headway down the Rio right before
cutting the ball back for Ave's number 9 Hassan
to net with a cushioned volley
"I thought the two wide players – (Gabriel) Obertan and Sammy (Ameobi) – made a big difference. You could tell they were at a bit of a higher level in terms of their fitness than some of our other players.
"(Paul) Dummett, I thought again, did terrifically well. He could have done better for the first goal, but that was probably the only error he’s made. I’m pleased with him again.
"There were some positives: in the second half, Rob (Elliot) came on and he’s got so much confidence from those 10 or 11 Newcastle games he’s had.
"The over-riding worry is Shola, really. Shola’s gone down on his arm, and it looks like he’s having an X-ray. To have no hamstrings and no pulls was a good thing."I’m focusing on the team out here, and Joe, Lee Charnley and Graham (Carr) are looking to get someone over the line. At the minute, especially if Shola’s missing, and with no Papiss out here, we’re a little bit light for a Premier League team.
"I spoke to Joe on Friday, and he has some important meetings (with Mick Harford by the look of it....)
Egyptian striker Ahmed Hassan Mahgoub was the main threat for the home side and twice had rookie goalkeeper Jak Alnwick fishing the ball out his net in the opening ten minutes.
Midfielder Braga then added to the misery before the half hour mark before United had been sighted as an attacking force and although Shola Ameobi later narrowed the deficit, substitute 'keeper Rob Elliot blocked a spot kick effort as Rio Ave threatened to restore their three goal advantage.
With United having barely crossed the halfway line in the opening quarter of the match, a humiliating margin of defeat beckoned when Rio made it 3-0 before the half hour. However a belated assault on the home goal before the half time whistle at least hinted at some sort of a response.
Sylvain Marveaux curled an effort from the edge of the box brilliantly tipped over by Ederson ten minutes before the interval before captain Yohan Cabaye tried his luck from similar distance on three occasions - putting two shots wide before finding his range with the third and crashing the ball off the angle of post and crossbar.
With Cabaye, Marveaux, Haris Vuckic and Jonas Gutierrez failing to appear for the second half, a revamped attack occasionally threatened to create something down the right flank through Gabriel Obertan, with Sammy Ameobi faring less well down the opposite side
However, some poor finishing ensured that the Rio goalkeeper remained a spectator - and had the dubious honour of witnessing Steven Taylor's war dance twice, before free kick opportunities around the box that were both wasted.
The hosts lost momentum following a multitude of substitutions, but an element of niggle crept into the game as it entered the closing stages. That was due in part to some reckless challenges from Cheick Tiote, seemingly incapable of supplying anything positive to proceedings and making laughable attempts at completing the most elementary pass.
After the home side saw a further effort ruled out for offside, Newcastle finally got on the scoresheet through substitute Shola Ameobi.
A dubiously awarded penalty for a challenge on Sandro Lima by Mike Williamson that was clearly outside the box then saw justice done when Elliot blocked Lima's weak spot-kick to keep the deficit down.
To cap a forgettable night though United ended the game a man short when Shola Ameobi tumbled awkwardly in a challenge with an opponent and walked off the field clutching his right wrist.