Half time: Foxes 0 Magpies 0
Full time: Foxes
0 Magpies 0
Newcastle manager Chris Hughton said:
"I've mixed emotions about the game. They
were down to 10 men for so long and it's disappointing we were not able to
capitalise on that, but they played with great spirit and what often happens
when you go down to 10 men it galvanises the team.
"The sending off also seemed to lift
the crowd who felt aggrieved at what had happened.
“I decided to make sure we
were very solid through the middle of the park and we had Kevin Nolan playing
off the front man – a position where he’s scored a lot of goals this season.
“But they got more from
each player with 10, and with the pace they’ve got up front were able to pose
problems on the counter-attack. If we had got the early goal, things would have
been easier, but the longer it goes on you know they are going to make it
On debutant Patrick Van Anaholt:
He certainly got better as
the game went on, and he is a young lad who will get even better with
experience. He’s not had much training with us and was thrown in at the deep
end and did very well.”
Mike Williamson commented:
"The manager had a few choice words after the game. He wasn’t happy with
us at all. The players were very disappointed but we just take the positives and
move on to the next game. I know Chris comes over as very calm and collected but
he has a switch on him. I can see his point because we didn’t play well
“They’ve got some good
individual players and they showed they play like a team. They set their stall
out and showed what they’re good at. We were quite sloppy at times all over
the pitch and I think we were lucky at times as well to come out with the point.
It was disappointing – they went down to ten men and we wanted to capitalise
on that. But we just have to go again on Friday now.
“When a team goes down to ten men you want to be pushing forward and creating
chances but in the end, considering how we were playing, a draw and a clean
sheet – you take the positives and move on. It can be tougher playing against
ten men. They get behind the ball when they’re down to ten. But they actually
went back to two up front and were pushing on in the second half – it was a
“The positives are we got
the point – we ground it out. We just want to get back to good performances
and keep going to stay where we are and push ourselves over the line. At least we didn’t
lose. We take the positives – a point and a clean sheet.”
Kevin Nolan added:
"You have to give Leicester a lot of credit for the way they played.
Yes, we're disappointed not to win against 10 men - but they made it incredibly
difficult for us today. I don't see it as two points dropped. I just see it as
another game unbeaten for us.
"We're leading the Championship, have a
game in hand on Nottingham Forest. We need to win that - and we're in a very
healthy position to get back into the Premier League, where Newcastle
Foxes boss Nigel Pearson commented:
"I thought we were
the better side with 11 and I thought we were the better side with 10, but
maybe that's just me being biased. I
think with results how they have been going for us of late it was
important for us to get a performance in which we believed in ourselves,
but also a little bit of quality.
"I think it was a good response from
the players today, we are disappointed that we couldn't go on and win the game
but we knew it was going to be a tough one.
"I don't think today would be the
right time - this is the Respect Campaign isn't it? I'm not going to be talking
about that today and I've not actually reviewed the incidents yet. I'll have my
say at some point.
"It's one performance, one point. We
still have aspirations to be involved in the promotion shake-up, we want to be
involved in that. I think you can see how tight the league is, we can't afford
to be putting in a run of results which sees us drop by the wayside.
"Today is a stepping stone for us, it
stopped the rot. I'm more pleased with the performance rather than the result -
the players have showed a lot of character today."
Bruno Berners added:
"I was very close to a red as
well. Probably Richie's were two yellow cards. He didn't leave the ref much
choice. After my challenge in the second half on Routledge, I knew I had to calm
down. My team-mates told me to calm down a bit and I was so motivated to do
"I knew Routledge is a very good player
and I knew I had to get tight to him because he would be a threat. But I did
calm myself down and I used my experience. I knew I had to get away from the
scene after the tackle. Maybe the red card in the first half saved me and I got
away with it.
"I was pleased with my performance and
I was part of a great point. I don't think we should single out the back four
alone, there was a tremendous team ethic and the work-rate was just fantastic.
We have shown everyone out there in the league that we are a unit and we are
hard to beat."
Magpies @ Foxes - last ten:
2009/10 drew 0-0
2003/04 drew 1-1 Ambrose*
2001/02 drew 0-0
2000/01 drew 1-1 Speed
1999/00 won 2-1 Shearer, Ferguson
1998/99 lost 0-2
1997/98 drew 0-0
1996/97 lost 0-2
1994/95 won 3-1 Cole, Beardsley, Elliott
1992/93 lost 1-2 O'Brien
* At Walkers Stadium, all others at Filbert Street.
Full record v Leicester:
First team debut for Patrick Van Aanholt, a 19 year-old Dutch youth
international left back signed from Chelsea on a month's loan. He faced United
in the colours of Coventry City back in November 2009, making 21 appearances
while on loan at the Ricoh.
Named as substitute but not called upon to make his debut was fellow new
loannee, Fitz Hall. The 29 year-old London-born central defender has
moved from QPR for the rest of the current season.
This was our third 0-0 draw of the season in the league, coming after
home stalemates against Bristol City and Derby County. We also
recorded a scoreless draw at Plymouth in the FA Cup.
13 away games this season
6 victories, 4 draws, 3 defeats
18 goals scored (11 first half, 7 second half)
2 minutes - earliest goal scored
82 minutes - latest goal scored
10 goals conceded (4 first half, 6 second half)
14 minutes - earliest goal conceded
87 minutes - latest goal conceded
11 games scored in
9 times we've scored first
Our second-ever visit to the Walkers Stadium coincided with the FA designating
this game as a Respect fixture. That had led to pre-match speculation that
someone was bound to be sent off and that duly came to pass - although it
wasn't to benefit us (our second prediction of someone invading the pitch and being
howked by stewards failed to bear
fruit - a goal might have helped...)
After a reshaped Magpies side had unimpressively seen off Palace in midweek,
further changes to the line-up saw Ryan Taylor return to replace Tamas Kadar at
right back. On the opposite flank meanwhile there was a debut at left back for
Patrick Van Aanholt, coming in for the injured Enrique.
Jonas Gutierrez was also absent, although he was to have a non-playing role on
the subs bench. Recent acquisition Wayne Routledge made his first start down
the right, while Nicky Butt returned in the centre, leaving fall guy Danny
Guthrie to be shunted out to the vacant left wing berth.
Buoyed by Derby's earlier derby win over Forest, Newcastle started reasonably
well in what was a decent atmosphere in an-almost full stadium. The Andy
Carroll / Kevin Nolan front combo was in evidence again, with Shola Ameobi out
and both Nile Ranger and Peter Lovenkrands benched, although Carroll operated
as the sole front man, with Nolan lurking behind.
What appeared to be a turning point though came on the half hour, when Wellens
walked after receiving a second yellow for a tug on Routledge - quite what him
and his colleagues were appealing for at this point is unclear, as the offence
was blatant enough.
With United apparently handed the initiative, it was City who almost went ahead
soon after though, when the marauding Matty Fryatt set off on goal and was only
stopped by a desperate block that saw his goalbound shot cannon away off Van
Newcastle debutant then moved in on goal and hit the target for our first
noteworthy effort. From the corner, Alan Smith then came close to that elusive first competitive goal
in our colours when he latched on to Guthrie's ball, only for his header to
be cleared out of the six yard box by Bruno Berner.
An unchanged United then lined up in 4-5-1 formation again after the break, as
a fired-up home side pressed from the off. However, they could consider
themselves fortunate not to have their numbers further depleted when
the already-booked Berner
caught Routledge and was lucky not to see a second yellow.
United were also fortunate not to concede a couple of penalties for handball
when Carroll blocked a free-kick with a raised arm and the ball also hit Butt's
arm before Harper gathered at the near post.
But with the breakthrough goal looking no more likely than it had during the
rest of the game and Carroll remained short of both service and support. Nolan
managed to put a rare opportunity on the roof of the Leicester net, but Nigel
Pearson's side continued to look the more dangerous - via the simple expedient
of running at Newcastle in possession.
A change was required and Ranger duly appeared, although it was left to
Routledge to push forward at pace and get away from the 'keeper before shooting
narrowly wide from what was an almost impossible angle.
Into the closing stages and with City visibly tiring, the stage seemed set for
a late United goal to give them what would be a seventh away success of the
season. However their increasing amount of possession failed to break the
deadlock, with too many speculative hoiks into the Foxes box being gift-wrapped
for the home defence to clear and a continued inability to reach the byline.
With both Lovenkrands and Gutierrez on the bench (the latter apparently still
complaining of soreness after being kicked against Palace), Hughton angered
those present by introducing Fabrice Pancrate into the fray. However he did
break with tradition by replacing Nolan - who by this time was doing a passable
impression of a traction engine, lumbering and wheezing (whatever muse took him
to double figures in terms of goals scored before Christmas has long-deserted
Pancrate made his way over to the right flank for what proved to be a brainless
and inept link-up with Ryan Taylor That saw Routledge provide a diminishing
return down the left, while Carroll and Ranger were similarly not on the same
wavelength. Ranger did poke home Carroll's centre from close range, but had
been correctly called offside before the ball reached him.
Ranger then did well to get a shot away after a poor delivery, but dragged his
effort wide. And with another awful set piece - this time a corner - the final
moments then brought the appearance of
Solano from the bench for City to raise the prospect of the ultimate custard
pie for United. That never came though, as neither side carved out a chance
worthy of the name, Routledge hammering his effort high over the bar.
Even allowing for the change in personnel, this was a dispiriting display from
Newcastle, providing further ammunition to those who have derided them for a
lack of creativity and made unfavourable comparisions with alleged footballing
sides such as West Brom.
Why Lovenkrands and/or Gutierrez failed to appear remains unclear, and if Jonas
wasn't fit then what business did he have being on the bench at all? In
fairness Pancrate did try when he came on and made one good intervention to
foil a City attack, but that's not really what he was there to do.
The point extended our lead at the top of the table to four points (with a game
in hand on Forest), but that was cold comfort to the travelling supporters as
they made their way home, for whom the over-riding feeling seemed to be one of
frustration and two points lost, not one gained.
A third successive draw on the road in the league differed from the previous
stalemates at Barnsley and Sheffield Wednesday in that we made mistakes but
also did enough to win the game. That just didn't apply here - and had
Leicester kept a full contingent of players on the pitch, they could well have
inflicted our first reverse since October.
While Chris Hughton talks about digging in and tough struggles ahead, the fact
remains that we've been on the back foot for the most part in recent games,
never looking like we'd cut loose and punish opponents in the manner of some
other Championship sides. That cannot totally be laid at the door of injuries
and squad turnover, although the stats highlight the contribution of Marlon
Harewood, despite the poor reviews he received. He needs to be replaced.
harsh analysis would be that we over-achieved in the first months of the
season, aided by opponents in virtual disarray who were in awe of our "big
club" status. Other teams seem to have caught up and wised up, while we've
stagnated by comparison.
On a weekend when TV viewers watched a Premier League game in 3D for the
first time, the side who currently lead the promotion race were disappointingly
one-dimensional. It's safe to assume that no manager of the month award for
January will be winging its way to Tyneside.
But, we remain at the top of the table and with the meanest defence in the
league, still picking up points during what is something of a dip in our form.
A home win and an away draw looks like a reasonable weeks work on the face of
it, but those who saw both will have a less positive view.
With our fixture programme remaining at this intensity for most of the next two
months, there's little time to do anything with the squad other than play and recover in time
for the next game. There may well be a few more difficult nights like this to endure.