Half time: Wigan 0 Newcastle 0
88mins: Rob Elliott's hand was on the shirt of
- whether there was a tug is dubious, but there was contact and down he
went. Steve Bennett pointed to the spot and David Connolly sent Shay Given the wrong way at the
far end of the ground from
the Toon fans 0-1
Full time: Wigan 1 Newcastle 0
Graeme Souness said:
been a long time since one of my teams was outplayed like that. We were poor and the game should have been over by half-time.
“They were totally dominant and although the penalty was a wee bit unfair,
we are not complaining about it too much because the best team won.
“You cannot think it is going to be an easy game because you are playing against some players you have not heard of before.
“To the foreign lads we pointed out to them that cup football in this country is not like it is on the Continent where it is not taken as
“We told them it would be a hard game. We went over that before they went out there but they didn’t heed the warning.
“The one thing a player should be able to guarantee is that he gives 100 per
cent when he crosses the white line but not every one of my players did that
"This is the most angry I've been
as Newcastle manager. Six or seven thousand people have travelled from Tyneside
tonight to watch a game of football in which they thought we had a great chance
of going through. We didn't do it for them.
"The best team won, the best team
should have won by half-time. Every single person who travelled from Tyneside
tonight we have let down. I understand the fans’ reaction and can’t
(those comments actually do a disservice to the many Toon fans who didn't
travel from Tyneside but who were at the game. A good chunk of those behind the
goal weren't regular attendees, but took advantage of the availability of
tickets to turn out. For those North West Mags, they might have been home
quickly, but at the expense of being a laughing stock yet again at their work /
Alan Shearer commented:
"We got what we deserved. The first-half performance was unacceptable,
and in the second half we rallied a bit.
was too little, too late, and we'll find out who our men are on Saturday.
try and defend what's gone on. It was unacceptable. It was an awful performance
and an awful result. Wigan deserved it more than us.
very disappointing, and it hurts when you look at the teams left in the
competition. None of us can come out here and make any excuses. It just wasn't
stand here and give a million excuses, but at the end of the day it just wasn't
were 5,000 fans at the game tonight and we let them down - I can understand why
find out who our men are on Saturday when we've got 52,000 demanding a result.
got to go out and give a performance, whoever's playing.
plays on Saturday has got to stand up and be counted."
Nobby Solano added:
"Believe me, every one of the players is very, very disappointed and
frustrated, especially for the fans that came to see us.
first-half we didn't play well, but in the second-half we did much better.
disappointed at the referee's decision. For me it wasn't a penalty, and that's
cost us the game. If it had gone into extra time, who knows?"
to pick ourselves up, and show we are men. We need to be together when we win,
and when we lose.
responsibility isn't on the manager, the players need to take responsibility as
well. The manager hasn't done anything wrong - it's the players on the pitch.
to work hard and prepare for Saturday and my former club Aston Villa which is a
very important game for us. We need to start livelier and stronger, everywhere
on the pitch we need to be stronger.
to give 100% per cent to the manager.
the players who need to take responsibility. We're the ones on the pitch.
happened has happened, and we need to show character and move forward."
"I felt sorry for our supporters, especially those who have travelled 165
miles on a freezing and foggy night to watch a performance like that, and I
would like to say sorry to them.
"But we are all in this together. From
me as chairman, to the management and the players, we have all got to stick
together and get a win on Saturday, which would give everyone a huge lift."
Paul Jewell commented:
"It was a 1-0 hammering.
"We were the best team from start to
finish and played exceptionally well. I think we had 19 attempts on goal, that's
the only disappointing thing that we didn't win the game by four or five goals.
It should have been over at half-time but it's great to get a victory against a
so-called top Newcastle side."
"I thought it was a tremendous performance from the players, the only thing missing was a goal. That would have capped off a top class
"That was a great performance against a team, who on paper, were at their strongest. Those lads have done themselves no end of good
"I thought the whole team was outstanding. We played good tempo, and good football and the only thing missing was
"We changed our shape, we played with a diamond tonight and the players took to it really, really well. We carved Newcastle open at
"There was no pressure on us in a way because it was a cup game, but we ran them ragged! I think one-nil flattered them greatly."
Newcastle failed to record our 50th victory in this competition and
failed to improve on our miserable record of five Fifth Round
draw appearances in 45 years.
We've now gone 282 minutes without a goal and scored 13
times in 16 domestic games - nine of those coming in three
games, meaning just four in the other 13.
We've won four
and drawn one of the six matches with Owen in the side, the no.10
getting four of the nine goals. Without, it's just two wins (mackems
& Grimsby) one draw and three defeats.
And Souness maintains his record of never having managed a
Newcastle side that has come back to win after falling behind in a
domestic match. Turning a 0-1 into a 2-1 at Heerenveen in the UEFA Cup
the only time he's managed this.
We tried, we really tried.
Tried to put aside the years of resentment and ill-will we built up against
Souness as a player and Manager in giving him something approaching a clean
slate when he was appointed - a Gallowgate Ground Zero, if you will.
Did our best to accentuate the positive when we did get a winning run together -
albeit against similarly mediocre sides at home and abroad.
Tried to convince ourselves the means justified
the ends when players were shipped out - some we were glad to see the back of,
some less so.
Sympathised when his so-called door openers were absent and our Bare Bones XI
churned out insipid performances, crashing out of two cups and continuing to
plummet. And still we dreamt of better days.
But at the end of a miserable night in Lancashire we couldn't summon up anything
but contempt for Souness and his side. And that contempt seems to be echoed by
his players - whose display (or lack of it) spoke volumes about what they think
of the manager.
Only two people fully escape this - Shay Given and Peter Ramage. Partial pardons can be
given to Martin Brittain and Michael Chopra, expected to try and pull the team out of the
clarts despite being left in little doubt by the Manager that their futures lie
But the rest - alleged international stars and legends in their own mind - were
comprehensively worked over by a "no stars" Wigan side including no
less than seven players who had featured in a reserve game against us less than
two months ago.
Less committed onlookers at this point may wonder why our annual
premature exit from the League Cup provoked such an instant negative response
from those present, later amplified by other commentators.
The simple fact is that Souness raised the stakes this season as far as this
competition was concerned - ensuring it had more importance than in recent
seasons. And as a consequence, this exit had more significance than the ones at
the hands of Chelsea, Everton and West Brom etc.
How? By convincing Shearer to stay on for another year,
presiding over our Intertoto failure, by his "we want to win this" comments and
by his positive team
selections - no sight of Harper this year.
No solace in the League, as our Premiership inconsistency already looks like ruling us out of a European
qualification spot. And the number nine now has only the unlikely prospect of
an FA Cup win to collect that elusive medal - and some regrettable ball
selection in Sunday's Third Round draw could snuff that one out.....
When casting around for positives after his initial appointment, we clung to his victory in this competition when
was Blackburn Rovers boss. Surely if Souness could inspire those numb Ewood buggers into collecting
silverware then he might be able to do it for us?
So, with this competition assuming paramount importance and having little or nothing else to look forward to this
season, a positive result was essential in this game - even if a good
performance was less vital.
Add in a slice of unfinished business arising from the controversies of the
league visit to the JJB and it seemed a fair bet that we'd be in the mood for
this - Owen or no Owen.
But what did we get? Not a team, just a rabble. A spiritless, aimless,
lack-lustre rabble - and in Bowyer a player who was visibly taking the
proverbial as he sauntered around the field.
Souness may have come out to face the press
after this game, but while it progressed he was nowhere to be seen. Instead the
touchline histrionics were left to Saunders - his "up and under"
gestures seemingly inspired by this game being played on a rugby ground.
Words simply cannot describe the depths to
which this team fell. Poor at Everton, dreadful here.
Given saves and Latics misses saved us from being four down at the break,
Wigan's second string featuring nine changes from their last Premiership outing
but outclassing the strongest team we could muster to an alarming degree.
At one stage the corner count was 11-0 in favour of the home side. If we'd had a
towel we would have thrown it in.
The second half was a more even affair, but even with Emre hitting the post,
Wigan continued to create and miss chances, as our midfield was completely
We introduced Brittain and
Chopra which gave more impetus to our attacking efforts, but that was negated by
Emre's inability to find a team mate with a pass.
Shearer may have had a goal chalked off on his only other visit here, but in
body language alone, his display tonight betrayed the folly of this extra
And as for Luque, anyone who witnessed this
game live or on TV will by now have formed their own opinion about his £10m
valuation. Souness once memorably signed a charlatan when at Southampton and so
far, he looks to have repeated the feat.
Let's face it, we've seen enough duck
eggs here in our time to know when another one appears.
The team we put out in this game just has to be capable of more than this - it simply
defies logic that international footballers can be so collectively woeful.
But whatever skill we may possess was overshadowed by a lack of commitment,
desire and organisation. That being the case, the buck stops with the
And as for the Chairman, he was left in no
doubt about current feelings when around 40 fans surrounded his Range Rover as
it got stuck in traffic leaving the ground, chanting "Souness out".
If Souness is spared then he has Paul Jewell to
thank - had the Latics boss unleashed his first-choice side against us (or even
just some on-form forwards), then a
good hiding would most likely have been the end result.
Precisely when Freddy sticks the boot in and
puts him out of his misery remains to be seen, but much more of this and it will
really become inevitable. Souness of course will remain at the helm until he
gets his payout: this laddie's not for leaving - cheaply.
Meanwhile we face a divisive time, with elements among our support almost
willing us to lose, in order to hasten the demise of a man who has been
fighting a losing battle to be accepted ever since he was appointed.
Souness deservedly felt the wrath of the fans tonight, but their reserves of
patience have evaporated over decades of disappointment.
He may regard fans who sang his name only recently as being fickle, but as it
did with his predecessors, he's reached the point where the optimism has turned
Our history shows there isn't usually a way back from losing the
fans and apparently losing the players - and as for who becomes the next Saviour to be
handed the poisoned chalice, after a night like this we're almost past caring
(but who will would fancy it with Shearer still in situ?)
The result was bad, the performance worse, the future unthinkable. You could
Our initial post-match reaction went
something like this:
Wigan Res 1
Diabolical, deplorable, dreadful, shocking,
pitiful, pathetic, embarrassing, unbelievable, dismal, feeble, useless, awful,
appalling, abysmal, shameful, astonishing, staggering, atrocious, inexcusable.