Sunday 6th January 2008, 6.00pm
Live on BBC1
Venue: Britannia Stadium
Conditions: Lashing down
0 - 0
Half time: Stoke City 0 Newcastle 0
Full time: Stoke City 0 Newcastle 0
"I think we could have won
it in the first half and the beginning of the second half, we could have lost it
in 15 or 20 minutes midway through the second and could have nicked it at the
end. Not scoring when we had clear-cut opportunities (in the first half)
was the disappointing thing. It meant when the pressure did come we had a little
bit more to withstand.
"It got a little bit desperate at one
point but we got through that and then one of our local boys could have been the
hero in the last minute, but Andy Carroll slid the ball wide of the far post
instead of just inside it.
"It was a horrible night weather- wise
but a good performance from both sides. In the main we coped with most of what
Stoke had to offer. We controlled the game for long periods but couldn’t find
the cutting edge.
"Two young lads came on and did some
good things in possession of the ball. Andy Carroll could have been the ultimate
hero but didn’t quite make it. At least he got the chance to miss.
"The service has to get better. We need
to find a little more cutting edge in every department - I don’t quite know
how we didn’t score at the end of the first half.
"Overall it was a good performance and
a good result, although we could have done without the extra game with the
players away at the African Nations Cup but (four) Premiership sides got knocked
out by lower division teams and there was none harder than this one for
delighted to disappoint everyone who wanted us to fall flat on our faces.
People wanted us to fail so they could have another go at the manager, but
we avoided becoming the upset they all wanted. We stuck together and we knew
what to expect from Stoke.
"The television cameras were at Stoke
because they expected it to be another upset, that was why there was all the
interest in us. We had to go there and do a professional job, although
obviously it would have been better if we had won the game.
worse as the game went on and that helped them rather than us. We created a
few chances but we didn’t take them and we had to defend well at the end
because they put us under a lot of pressure in the second half.
"We passed the
ball well, but the conditions
"The main thing was to avoid defeat,
but the tie is not over yet. They showed some good quality, particularly in
the second half and they are a team who are flying high in the Championship,
so it’s certainly not job done.
"But we’re delighted we’re still
in the draw, especially after watching the games over the weekend. A lot of
Premier League teams were knocked out by lower league opposition and
Liverpool only managed to draw at Luton, so the FA Cup still has the ability
to produce plenty of shocks. We’re happy we’re not one of them at the
moment because this competition can do that, it’s their cup final.
“We had a nightmare against Birmingham
City last year having earned a replay, so there will be no complacency.
Those memories are still too fresh in the memory for that.
“We as players have to stand up and be
counted because the only reason the manager is under pressure is that we are
under-performing. We’ve got to put that right, stick together and start
playing better. As I’ve said before, the manager doesn’t cross the line,
it’s up to the players. The team he picks has to start performing for
Tony Pulis pulled down his baseball cap and commented:
"I would give Newcastle credit for good defending. They are a smashing
team. We had good opportunities, but they got men between us and the goal, and
it might be that Sam turns it round from here.
"It was a
smashing Cup tie, but obviously we're disappointed we haven't won the game
because we had the better chances. (Chairman) Peter (Coates) has
put a lot of money into this football club and so it's nice to have a replay for
him as much as anyone.
"Our fans really did get behind us and
they have made it a great cup tie. There'll be over 50,000 for the replay and we
will take a big, big contingent up there for a great night out - and how our
fans deserve that.
"These are exciting times, the best the
club has known for some years, and long may they continue. I don't believe it hasn't gone in the
net. You expect Jon to smash them in. But that's gone now and it doesn't take
away from a great performance from everyone.
"The players will really relish the
opportunity of going up there for the replay - and who knows?"
Tony's hardly the master of predictions though - having assured all and
sundry that the Britannia was a sell out for this game, he seems to be labouring
under the delusion there'll be a full house for the replay. Twelve months ago we
drew 26,099 to the equivalent game against Birmingham...
Kazenga LuaLua made his competitive
senior debut for the Magpies.
This was our first competitive game at the
Britannia Stadium and our third visit in total.
August 1999 saw us debut at the ground which had opened two years
previously. That was in a 2-1 pre-season friendly victory that featured a
playing cameo from then-boss Ruud Gullit.
And we were back here in January 2004 for a Fourth Round FA Youth Cup
tie, recording a 1-0 success in similar damp conditions to tonight, thanks in
part to a fine defensive display from Steven Taylor.
We've faced Stoke in the FA Cup five times
1909/10 drew 1-1 (a)
1909/10 won 2-1 (h)
1950/51 won 4-2 (a)
1955/56 won 2-1 (h)
1960/61 won 3-1 (h)
While we have also achieved two League Cup successes:
1976/77 won 3-0 (h)
1995/96 won 4-0 (a)
Newcastle's Third Round Record -
2007/08 Stoke (a) drew 0-0
2006/07 Birmingham (a) drew 2-2 (lost replay)
2005/06 Mansfield (h) won 1-0
2004/05 Yeading (a) won 2-0
2003/04 Southampton (a) won 3-0
2002/03 Wolves (a) lost 2-3
2001/02 Crystal Palace (h) won 2-0
2000/01 Aston Villa (h) drew 1-1 (lost replay)
1999/00 Spurs (a) drew 1-1 (won replay)
1998/99 Crystal Palace (h) won 2-1
1997/98 Everton (a) won 1-0
1996/97 Charlton (a) drew 1-1 (won replay)
1995/96 Chelsea (a) drew 1-1 (lost replay on pens)
1994/95 Blackburn (h) drew 1-1 (won replay)
1993/94 Coventry (h) won 2-0
The Newcastle boss may have gone public after this tie with thoughts that
his charges play too much football - but from the South Stand it was
difficult to see that we'd played any.
Yes, we kept a clean sheet and in doing so ended a run of three defeats and
we're still in "the hat" (which is of course now a bag and an
industrial food mixer).
For that the defence deserves considerable credit, especially the battling
performances of Taylor and Faye, who both put their bodies on the line to
give Shay some respite between the posts.
However that hardly lifted the spirits of those trudging away on a dirty
Potteries night, having seen us fail to show any hint of our alleged
Premiership pedigree, even allowing for the factors of a heavy pitch and
unfamiliar and hostile surroundings - especially if you're a Tom Jones fan.
And the following day's Fourth Round draw was another howk in the plums for
the travelling fans, who have already suffered at the Emirates in the League
Cup and now face the prospect of two trips in four days to the most impregnable
ground in the land (currently one defeat in 43 games).
In truth though we were hanging on by our fingertips in the second half -
Given's and Taylor's in particular, although Steve Bennett managed to avoid
pointing to the spot for the latter in what would have been a harsh but
typically malevolent decision from this dedicated Toon hater.
We're unable to agree with those who painted this a positive performance
overall though - for the simple reason that we failed to show either the
battling qualities required across the field or the necessary guile to
create and convert chances.
The Potters are by no means the pick of the Championship and during their
recent unbeaten run failed to take more than a point of the likes of
Barnsley, Plymouth and Hull.
Yet their set piece play, fitness and general movement eclipsed us too often
for comfort. By the end we seemed physically and emotionally spent, while
they looked as if they could have ploughed on - thankfully there was no
extra time in this tie.
Others may take pride in keeping a lower league side from scoring, but our
failings at the other end were only too evident.
Whenever the FA Cup comes around we provide easy copy for the media on a
number of levels.
Be it the H*r*ford game (shown within the first minute of Saturday's Football
Focus) or our 1950s heritage and more recently Wembley disappointments,
a tear-jerking montage of which formed the introduction.
What of the last men to score in an FA Cup semi final for us though?
The 1998 and 1999 hitman was in his usual place on the BBC couch, while Rob
Lee was nowhere to be seen, but of the
2005 Cardiff consolation converter Ameobi there was no sign.
While Milner was genuinely under the weather, the absence of Ameobi and Emre
from the squad was given rather unconvincingly as injury.
In reality the man who has scored 46 senior goals in our colours and had as
many chances looks to be completely out of favour with the management.
Meanwhile the Constantinople charlatan was out of the country, which seems a
strange way to treat yet another leg-related ailment.
The sight of Carroll and LuaLua appearing in the closing stages almost
transported us back a year to St.Andrews, where both were selected by Roeder
to try and ram home his lack of squad depth and warmed up for most of the
second half without getting on.
This time though both took to the field - the former on his 19th birthday
after returning from an eventful stint on loan at Preston that did little to
further his career, the latter having his first runout since an unimpressive
showing against Shrewsbury in the FA Youth Cup.
However both showed considerably more enterprise and enthusiasm for the
struggle, Lomana's brother trying to push forward and
causing a few scares, while big Andy nearly won it in the dying seconds as
he shaved the outside of a post - almost managed to start a fight with
a home player.
On a day when we were looking for a Cup hero and for players to stand up and
be counted" (an over-used phrase in 2007), the two rookies came as
close to achieving that as anyone.
Certainly the contributions of their elders and supposed betters in midfield
and attack did little to raise the sprits of a travelling crowd who were
resolutely vocal and supportive of their side and manager (witness the Big
Sam chants) but who got precious little back in return.
Captain Smith was again treading water in a deep
midfield role while Duff scampered skittishly down the wing to no great
effect in his third game back. N'Zogbia looked
to be our main threat restored to a more advanced midfield role but
invariably ran into trouble by failing to release the ball.
Butt launched a couple of efforts high over the
bar, while the little and large combination of Viduka & Owen was
ineffective, despite the latter pleading for better service,
specifically the ball to feet.
Miserable though it was, perhaps this could be some sort of turning point in
a sort of ground zero style - Given certainly sought to portray that feeling
of collective strength through adversity in his post-match quotes.
However the 'keeper also made the admission that we'd under-performed
previously - presumably he had both Derby and Wigan in his mind at that
It's an obvious question to ask why that was the case - our best guess is
that as a whole the squad now accept that nothing will happen to the
management until the end of the current season and are just getting on with
it - or phoning their agents.
Having suffered through the absence of Beye today, we now lose Faye to
international duty and Butt for two games through suspension.
On that basis and with upcoming league trips to Old Trafford and The
Emirates we really could have done without the burden of an extra game, with
success in that replay presenting us with another trip to Arsene's kingdom.
The worry is that our present mid-table slot is eaten away at by the chasing
pack and we get pulled into the mire by resurgent sides such as Wigan, whom
we've already gifted three points to.
Cup glory was never likely but a seemingly futile campaign could end up
doing more harm than good - as it was though, Allardyce isn't far away from
where Roeder was exactly a year ago after a cup match that brought added
grief rather than relief.
That ain't a good place to