17mins Striker Obafemi
on hand to profit from Duff's cross and Milner's intelligent downward header to
volley home at the Kop End for his 17th goal of the season. 1-0
Half time: Blades 0 Magpies 1
74mins A failure to clear the ball in our box
eventually led to substitute Christian Nade firing past Given, with Newcastle
down to ten men and Kieron Dyer waiting to come on.
Milner won a corner down the Newcastle right and when
his right-footed out-swinger was delivered, Steven Taylor rose to head
home his fourth goal of the season in front of a jubilant away end. 2-1
Blades 1 Magpies 2
Glenn Roeder said:
"Relegation has never been an issue for me. I've never looked
over my shoulder — only ahead.
"If people are honest
with themselves they did not expect that to happen today. I believe it
was only inside our dressing room that we believed we could come here and
"People have looked at
us and thought, at times away from home, we are not hard enough.
"That gave them the
motivation to come out and give a fighting performance.
"I think the players
answered a lot of questions today. We let Sheffield United off the hook
with Sibierski missing the chance to make it 2-0 and run out comfortable
winners but thankfully the player I thought was very good today Steven
Taylor deserved to get the winner.
"We had a couple of
players meetings this week where I just had to remind them about a few
"I just think some of
them had lost a bit of confidence. It doesn't matter whether you are an
England player or play in the second division, we are all human beings
and I think a little bit of self-doubt had crept in.
"Scott Parker, who I think didn't have any critics to answer to, is
very well respected in our dressing room and they - as far as I'm
concerned - are the only people that Scott needs to have the respect of.
"If you knew the man if
you could see what he is like after a defeat in the dressing room, it
hurts him badly. If he was player that didn't give his best you could
understand supporters moaning but he gives his all.
"The players respect him
immensely; he is not a vocal captain but he leads through example. It
hurt him after last week's game to get the criticism that he got but he
won't be leaving the club, he is a fighter.
"In view of how badly he
got criticised last week by everybody, including the media, I think he
went out and, while he was on, played very much a captain's role.
"Scott covered nearly
every blade of grass, winning tackles he probably shouldn't have won.
"I don't feel the pressure. Four years ago on Easter Monday I
collapsed with a brain tumour. Things like that change you.
"I am as passionate as
ever. I want to win perhaps even more but things like that straighten you
out and I actually feel lucky, although I know that's a crazy thing to
"Managing Newcastle is
not just a job - that simplifies it too much. It is too much of an honour,
it's a responsibility to be given this chance so it's never just a job.
"I am so determined to
bring some success to Newcastle and like any new business, because I am
new, the first couple of years are the hardest.
"Hopefully in two years'
time I will have survived and I will have my own squad. Basically I am
still working with other managers' squads.
"Obafemi Martins is
mine, Damien Duff is mine and Antoine Sibierski is mine and I am happy
with all three.
"Getting to the summer I
know where I want to strengthen the squad, it has to be strengthened.
"Next year - minus the
injuries - I want to accept the responsibility of where Newcastle need to
"People need to
understand it has been impossible to do that this year with a dozen
injuries for six months and I can't wait to write Michael Owen's name on
the team sheet as a starter."
"Owen won't play in the
reserves, neither will Shola Ameobi but they are back out on the training
ground playing football and Michael and Shola are very happy with where
they are in terms of recovery.
"But playing on the
training ground and putting the ball in the back of the net is a long way
away from playing Premiership football.
"We've not put a date on
when Michael Owen will return simply because he is a world-class
footballer and he is of interest to world football.
"If he doesn't make that
date hysteria breaks out and there is no need to. He will continue his
build up in training this week, as will Shola. It didn't seem the right
thing to do playing him in the reserves. There would have been too much
Scott Parker spoke:
"The manager made me
captain last year and it (criticism) hurts, of course it does - I
"But there was never any
question in my mind I would leave here. I've been playing some good
football and they (Newcastle) are close to my heart.
"It wasn't hard (going
out onto the field) - It is the job and you have to go out there and
be professional and do the best you can and I like to think I did that
while I was on the field.
"You are always
delighted when people are saying nice things about you and when you feel
you are being supported and being wanted there is no better feeling.
"It hasn't been easy the
last few weeks. We have had a lot of pressure from all angles; at times
from our own fans, and rightly so at times and I suppose that comes with
playing at a big club.
"I think we know what to
listen to and we know what to believe and as long as we stay confident in
ourselves and believe in each other we can get results.
confidence. Before Saturday it was a little bit low but now it is much
"We have got a tough
game on Monday. We have another tough one against Chelsea at home but we
have got some good fixtures in there. We can hopefully get up the table
and get as many points as we can.
"It has been a
disappointing year, there is no hiding that. We've had a lot of injuries
- not using that as an excuse - but we all know we could have done better
at times but we have to draw a line under this season and hopefully come
back better and stronger next year.
"Games like Saturday
only help that."
Neil Warnock (who in his radio
interview with the BBC referred to a mysterious Newcastle defender called
"I'm sick as the old proverbial. At the
moment you can't put the bitterness away - you can almost taste because you know
how important these home games are.
"Heads are down in the
dressing room - wouldn't expect anything else.
"You can't ask any more
as a manager when your players give everything but it's disappointing
that Newcastle haven't really had to work for their goals.
"You don't need me to
tell you that their second goal is a straightforward corner kick.
"It took us all that time
to claw our way back in and to concede again just a simple goal it is
"When we equalised I
could see us winning it. At 1-1 I thought they were for the beating and
to concede an elementary goal is really a kick in the teeth.
"I think we have had
five or six great chances. It just shows what a fine line it is at the
top level. If you don't take your opportunities you get punished."
Our fourth Premiership success on the road this season - coming
after wins at West Ham, Blackburn and Spurs.
Obafemi Martins scored his seventeenth goal of the season for Newcastle
- and his eleventh in the Premiership. Our number nine has hit the target
in each of our four Premiership away wins.
Steven Taylor netted his fourth goal for the club - all of which
have come this season; two now in the Premiership and one each in the UEFA
Cup and FA Cup.
Toon @ The Lane - last 10:
1993/94 lost 0-2
1989/90 drew 1-1 OG
1988/89 lost 0-3 (League Cup)
1978/79 lost 0-1
1976/77 drew 0-0 (FA Cup)
1975/76 lost 0-1
1974/75 lost 1-2 Keeley
1973/74 drew 1-1 Robson
1972/73 won 2-1 Tudor, Macdonald
1971/72 lost 0-1
With three away games remaining this season, we still require one goal and
two points if we are to avoid our lowest ever Premiership totals on the
NUFC Premiership away record:
31 points from 21 matches
(9 wins, 4 draws, 8 defeats, 31 goals scored)
94/95: 24 points from 21 matches
(6 wins, 6 draws, 9 defeats, 21 goals scored)
95/96: 26 points from 19 matches
(7 wins, 5 draws, 7 defeats, 28 goals scored)
96/97: 26 points from 19 matches
(6 wins, 8 draws, 5 defeats, 19 goals scored)
97/98: 15 points from 19 matches
(3 wins, 6 draws, 10 defeats, 13 goals scored)
98/99: 19 points from 19 matches
(4 wins, 7 draws, 8 defeats, 22 goals scored)
99/00: 17 points from 19 matches
(4 wins, 5 draws, 10 defeats, 21 goals scored)
00/01: 17 points from 19 matches
(4 wins, 5 draws, 10 defeats, 18 goals scored)
01/02: 32 points from 19 matches
(9 wins, 5 draws, 5 defeats, 34 goals scored)
02/03: 22 points from 19 matches
(6 wins, 4 draws, 9 defeats, 27 goals scored)
03/04: 18 points from 19 matches
(2 wins, 12 draws, 5 defeats, 19 goals scored)
16 points from 19 matches
(3 wins, 7 draws, 9 defeats, 22 goals scored)
20 points from 19 matches
(6 wins, 2 draws, 11 defeats, 19 goals scored)
14 points from 16 matches
(4 wins, 2 draws, 10 defeats, 13 goals scored)
NUFC away goals - Premiership 2006/07:
West Ham: Duff, Martins
Blackburn: Martins 2, Taylor
Spurs: Huntington, Martins, Butt
Sheffield United: Martins, Taylor
For once, the
sight of fans clad in black and white filing disconsolately out of the
ground gladdened our hearts, rather than deepening the furrows on brows.
Today it was those Blades supporters who bizarrely chose to wear their
toon-styled away kit doing the worrying, Steven Taylor's late header
ending our four game winless streak, providing much -needed respite
for Glenn Roeder and increasing the possibility of Steel City derbies
Pre-match gloom had centred on our inability to impose an allegedly
superior playing style on average opposition in recent months, allied to
an absence of battling qualities - the latter being precisely what Warnock's side had
built their reputation on this season.
Add to that a venue that we have traditionally struggled at and an
over-reliance on goals from a striker
who had been coasting for a month, and reasons to be
cheerful were in short supply.
After some totally justified criticism following the latest in a series
of non-performances last week though, today at last saw the players doing
their talking where it mattered - on the field.
That improved attitude was evident in a starting XI boosted by some
common sense managerial decisions, restoring the effective right-sided
partnership of Milner and Solano and relegating the fitful Dyer and Babayaro to
Reshaped, we showed some welcome hunger for the fight from the off and a
collective spirit that manifested itself in our getting bodies in the way of attempted shots and
Such was the freedom afforded to Newcastle that even Duff was able to get
within shooting range - although he proved incapable of testing the
'keeper, which is frankly, duff.
One goal ahead though is never a great position for us to be in, and
the glaring miss from Sibierski just after the hour was always likely to
be punished, rocking us back and asking questions of our temperament.
But with the home fans roaring their side on to greater efforts in carving out a
winner, we began to find some gaps on the counter attack -Taylor's header duly
saving our blushes and Given's vital reaction in the final seconds denying
Sheffield another equaliser.
While it's fair to say that we could have won by a greater margin, this display
was radically better than the brittle and listless flops at Wigan and Charlton
that saw us found wanting in all areas.
After yet more hot air in the run up to this game, it was comforting that we did our talking on the
pitch for a change, displaying the battling qualities and fortitude that have
been sadly lacking in 2007, as we've thrown the towel in too damn often.
Sheffield United and ourselves were joint bottom of the form table before
kickoff and although we claimed the points, it was with very little to spare -
comfortable it wasn't.
Undoubtedly a vital win, it was no more than the sort of return we should have been expecting
against weaker Premiership sides, staffed with players assembled for a
combined outlay of what we paid for Martins.
And if that sounds pious, then just go back and look at the respective
XI's fielded by Roeder and the likes of Jewell, Pearce, Curbishley and by
Keith Gillespie was probably the home side's best player today - that's the same
Keith Gillespie we were glad to see the back of late last century. Had we lost
for a second time to a team featuring the likes of him, there really would have
been nowhere for Roeder to go, except home.
We're the team with the names, the reputations and the rampant egos -
everything in fact but the points. Once the entertainers, now the underachievers
- and stuff the injuries, we were doing better when Roeder didn't have to make
Those who put in a good shift for the cause today deserved the applause
that came their way at the final whistle - although many of them barely
If nothing else, this success will hopefully
put the SJP crowd in a more forgiving fettle on Monday and make for a
less rancorous, more positive atmosphere.
But if we revert to type, the players and manager have to be prepared for
whatever abuse comes their way. Please don't tell me that I don't understand
what I'm seeing Glenn, enough of us have have been coming here for long enough
to know when charlatans and p*sstakers are on the field.
Failure to continue this revival (or ride our luck) against Arsenal will
see us teetering on the brink once again, with a perpetually fruitless
trip to Fratton to be followed by the novelty of playing Chelsea in the
League on Tyneside when the current Champions will actually be trying.
Keeping the players we want, dumping the ones we don't and attracting the
required calibre of new faces become the paramount issues of the day once
our Premiership survival is secured.
Whether Roeder is capable of doing those three things - or content to
have input into the attempts of others - remains open to question.
A good day then, but it'll take a lot more than this to convince supporters that
the current manager is actually in charge - or deserves to be.