A break down the United left by Impey
left Hughes standing, and a ball whipped into the penalty area found Tony
Cottee, who hit a shot to Shay Given's right that the 'keeper got contact
with but couldn't prevent from going in. A case of Deja Vu, with West
Ham's opener on Wednesday posing similar questions of the Irish custodian.
Half time: Magpies 0 Foxes 1
52 mins: City scored with
their first attack of the second half, Robbie Savage taking a pass outside
the box and changing the direction of his run and elude a clutch of
defenders. The Welshman then lofted a memorable 20 yarder into the top
right hand corner with Given nowhere near it. 0-2
Full time: Magpies 0 Foxes 2
Sir Bobby said:
"Three defeats in seven days means
we've had a dreadful week. We didn't deserve the week we've had but the
third defeat in seven days has made us all pretty miserable.
"I can't remember the last time that I was in
charge of a team that had three consecutive defeats and certainly not in
seven days, so I'm not feeling too well myself."
A short whinge if I may, after having spent a hundred notes on
tickets and half the week on trains to see three hoyed away defeats:
I came from sunny York on Saturday, just up the road, but had a pre-match beer
(or six) with a lad who'd flown in from Germany for the game, along with exiles
who'd driven from most corners of the country. However, even these efforts pale
into insignificance when placed against the Shaw family.
Originally from Wallsend, John Shaw brought his family from New Zealand to the
match and what a miserable bloody time they must have had...And I won't even
mention the poor newly-weds who took their place in the ground "in full
costume" after the ceremony - if the lassie had thrown the brides bouquet
at Given I wouldn't have fancied him to clutch it to his bosom.
They all had one thing in common - if they turned up to work and weren't up to
the job, either due to lack of skill or sheer laziness, they'd rapidly know
While most of the crowd accepted the inevitable and gave the players no grief at
all (many having left remarkably early) hopefully Bobby sent the teacups flying
as he put the boot in post-match. Too many players decided to live on their
reputations and avoid what old fashioned people call "muck and
bullets." Against most teams this would be inadvisable, against a Martin
O'Neill side, plain stupidity.
It's hardly worth singling out individuals, as to be honest, none of the starting
eleven or the three replacements used will look back with any degree of
fondness on their abject display. Christ knows what a Foxes attack composed
of something more substantial than a tired dwarf and a converted centre half
(Matt Elliott) might
have achieved here.
Had we been in the cup final again, I could almost have understood a slackening of
effort as we coasted down to a May date at Wembley, with bookings and boots studiously avoided, but we haven't even got that expensive weekend of
inevitable misery to "look forward to."
The season might be over, but surely supporters can expect more than this half-arsed
excuse for a performance for our efforts?
Having been promised "a thank you present" (their words, not mine)
after the cup semi let down, I trust the lads will deliver against a Leeds side
facing a tricky Turkish task in midweek, and on the crest of a domestic slump.
I'm not overly optimistic though