Norwich City (a) Friendly
39 mins Ryan Taylor's thoughtless
back pass was picked up by Wes Hoolahan. He evaded both Fabricio Coloccini
and James Tavernier before laying the ball across the six yard box for Chris
Martin to walk the ball in from point-blank range. Quite what Tim Krul was
standing appealing for remains a mystery, not only was Martin behind the
ball but it wasn't even played forward.... 0-1
Newcastle manager Chris Hughton said:
"They, of course, have been back earlier than we have and have played more minutes on the football pitch than we have and it was the type of test that we needed. I never like losing any games, irrespective of whether they are pre-season games or game during the season, so that was disappointing to lose the game, but it didn't stop us making the changes that we wanted. It was about everybody gelling and getting another 45 minutes under their belt and then we can push on next week.
"Were Norwich worthy of their win? Yes they were. I thought over 90 minutes they were better. I thought we had a very good period in the second half and were able to create chances, so no excuses that way. The opposition today was very good opposition that have got a lot of momentum in their game, have played a system that they have played for the last year and know the system very, very well and of course it was a real test for us. They are ahead of us with their games and this is the type of competition that we want at this stage of pre-season.
"I have said all along that we need to make additions to
the squad. We know it’s going to be a tough season and we know we will go
through periods where we pick up injuries. We have to be prepared for that. I
don’t think this game really changed anything – we knew that we needed
players and we know that it will be tougher to get through injuries to key men
"We are still making decisions as with any potential players that can go on loan, but he is very much a Newcastle player and one that we feel has a very bright future with us,” said Hughton. He has improved as a keeper. Paul Barron was able to see him more and we are not only delighted what he has done for Norwich, we are delighted what Norwich have done for us.”
Goalscorer Shola Ameobi added:
"There’s not really an established order at the moment, which maybe wasn’t always the case in the past when someone like Alan (Shearer) was around. Chances will come along for all the strikers, and you have to take them when they arrive.
"It’s going to be a big year for me personally, but then every year’s a big year. I was chosen to start the season last season and I scored a hat-trick in my first home game, but then I got injured, Andy got into the side and finished as top scorer. Things like that happen.
"Nobody knows what’s going to happen this season – you just have to make sure you give your all and make sure you’re in the best possible shape to show the manager that you’re ready for the task ahead."
From Norwich, it's the quiz of the week....who scored the winner at Carrow
Newcastle slipped to defeat against Championship new boys Norwich City in their second pre-season friendly of the season on Saturday afternoon.
Trailing just before half time to a Chris Martin effort that came about due to a sloppy Ryan Taylor backpass, a much-changed Magpies side were level soon after half time through Shola Ameobi.
However, their first outing in their new blue away kit ended in defeat when a cross was headed past Tim Krul by what looked to be a combination of City's Chris Martin and United's James Tavernier.
Kevin Nolan captained the side and in the absence of Steven Taylor and James Perch, Chris Hughton paired Fabricio Coloccini with youngster Tavernier in central defence, while Ryan Taylor appeared at right back.
Wearing number nine, Andy Carroll had the first decent chance of the afternoon in the opening moments, but placed his effort wide of the target. Tim Krul then turned a Chris Martin effort round the post on 13 minutes as the home side forced a series of corners without making a breakthrough.
The City striker did better six minutes before half time though, putting his side ahead with an unmissable chance. United almost provided an instant reply through Nile Ranger on 42 minutes, but after finishing well he was wrongly adjudged to be offside.
Chris Hughton made seven changes ahead of the
second half and as he had at Carlisle, gained an instant return when one of
them - Shola Ameobi - levelled the scores. Routledge had gone to right back in
place of Taylor, while Xisco made his Magpies comeback at right midfield, with
Tavernier staying in central defence, this time partnering Mike
He was beaten ten minutes later though, when a right wing cross from recently-arrived City substitute Anthony McNamee was headed past Krul. The Carrow Road PA credited Martin with a second goal but his lack of celebration seemed to confirm that contact came via Tavernier. However, Martin claimed the goal in a post-match interview, although TV footage confirmed he actually was nowhere near the ball.
Again Newcastle looked to respond quickly and within a minute of the restart, Xisco somehow managed to muck up a free header that he really should have buried. Into the closing stages and Peter Lovenkrands beat Ruddy with a looping header from Ferguson's cross, but unluckily saw it rebound back off the crossbar.
While the result is as irrelevant as any other friendly match, the difficulties faced by Chris Hughton in central defence were a genuine concern, with James Tavernier plugging a gap in a role we've never seen him occupy. The thought of him filling in at Old Trafford against Rooney & Co. in our opening fixture doesn't even bear thinking about....