Leicester City (a) FA Cup Third Round
Half time: Foxes 1 Magpies 0
"Iíve prepared and organised this team as best I can. I put the best
team on the pitch in the circumstances. I
put out the strongest team - other than Ayoze Perez.
"If you had seen him after the Burnley game or the following morning at the training ground, he'd ran out of fuel. For me to take a massive gamble 48 hours later with him would have been too big a gamble.
"Daryl Janmaat had a problem with his groin. Moussa Sissoko - both of his hamstrings were tight and I didn't want to risk that. (Fabricio) Coloccini had a problem with a nerve leading into his buttock. Steven Taylor we lost because of a snapped Achilles.
"Even the morning of the game we had
Jack Colback travel with us despite having a tight hamstring. Unfortunately he
felt worse and didn't play. That's why I didn't take the gamble and he wasn't
even on the bench.
"Yes, I wouldíve done (booed). I wouldíve paid my money to come down here over the Christmas period when I wouldíve spent a lot of money.
"If Iíd been in the stands, then yeah, because I wouldíve been disappointed, because weíre out of the FA Cup, Nobody wanted to get to Wembley more than me.
"Thatís a fantastic feeling walking up the tunnel, and walking out into that fantastic arena.
"Iíve experienced that and I wanted to do it again. You donít get many opportunities and weíve missed that opportunity.
ďWe had some young guys there, and we kept banging on about how important the FA Cup is. Maybe one or two of the foreign lads donít understand it. but the longer theyíre at the club, they should understand it.
"Iíd just like to
say now itís been announced Alan has taken the job (at Crystal Palace),
Iíd be a fool if I didnít want to be manager of this football club or head
"It will be confusing (to fans) but
the only thing I will say is that the position is not now as a manager - itís
now a head coachís job. So the head coachís job is to get the team ready and
prepared for the next game and thatís all Iíve been thinking about.
Newcastle's sixty year domestic trophy drought was confirmed after an abject display against their Premier League rivals at the King Power Stadiumon a damp and chilly Saturday afternoon.
The Magpies last troubled the engravers back in 1955 and what looked like a deliberate attempt at concentrating on Premier League obscurity this season duly secured the desired outcome in the most lamentable fashion.
With no Alan Pardew to target, the 4,300-strong away support vented their spleens on the players, coaches and owner as an afternoon of frustration spilled over into anger at full time. We await the appearance of sackeveryone.com.....
It was a justifiable response to a feckless showing from the black and whites and by the end of the game the weakness of the 11 players left standing was depressing.
Moussa Sissoko, Jack Colback, Daryl Janmaat, Fabricio Coloccini and Ayoze Perez were all absent from the starting XI as seven changes were made as Davide Santon appeared competitively for the first time this season and Vurnon Anita was given a rare start.
John Carver claimed after
the game that only Perez was rested, but few would give that comment
That already undermines Carver's position as he called the side his strongest
possible selection and suggests that he is immediately being dictated
to from above - and by that we mean the board, not
Sir Bobby's Ouija board....
That all has merit, but completely fails to deal with the major issue at hand here: that this rotten performance was served up by a starting XI that should have been capable of winning this cup tie - or at least showing some semblance of going out fighting.
The reasons for yet another failure lie back in layers of poor recruitment, poor coaching, poor discipline and poor management, but in the here and now some things stick out like a sore thumb.
In terms of taking their cue from the man with the armband, Tiote again played like someone who is dreaming of jetting off to the Nations Cup and agreeing a transfer while he's in Guinea. Committed he ain't.
And if you want to go back to our curly-haired club captain, he's not cared to dirty his boots in this competition since we beat Blackburn in 2012. Since then our record is played four, won none.
Actions speak louder than words for one of the biggest influences in the dressing room, but like the booing of the young lads from the academy it's unfair to tar them with not taking this competition seriously enough because Colo wasn't here: last season messrs Sakta, Roberts and Armstrong were giving whole-hearted performances in the FA Youth Cup. The older ones have no excuse though.
The day began with a club statement confirming Pardew's departure to Palace and listing his achievements during a four year reign on Tyneside.
That they included reaching the Europa League Quarter Final in 2013 almost defied belief though, given that our progress to that point almost cost Pardew his position - for deviating from club policy to exit a competition with minimal TV income or prize money as soon as possible.
Those who perceive that there's been no significant shift in that sort of policy at SJP were given a plentiful supply of ammunition with this wilfully woeful display.
Managed by another one-time Magpie caretaker boss, Nigel Pearsons' Foxes side also did their fair share to contribute to the misery. They too showed their intent with seven changes from the side who drew at Liverpool 48 hours earlier (including a debutant who was playing on loan in League One barely a week ago) but unlike ourselves made an allowance for the poor conditions underfoot.
And referee Lee Mason and his team also can't escape from criticism as they appeared intent on adding to the despair, especially when they disallowed Remy Cabella's first half effort which was incorrectly flagged for offside.
City took advantage of that favourable decision and scored the decisive goal six minutes before the break and that also had a large slice of fortune about it.
United were caught napping by a swiftly-taken short corner routine and when Matthew James crossed the ball, Leonardo Ulloa bulleted a header that he seemed to know little about and it beat Jak Alnwick, hit the bar, bounced down on the line and then into the roof of the net.
After the break it was only some outstanding saves from Alnwick that kept United in the game while at the other end City 'keeper, Ben Hamer, had very little to do.
With Vurnon Anita having a shocker in midfield, Cheick Tiote again more of a danger to his team mates and Haris Vuckic failing to make an impact, forwards Adam Armstrong and Emmanuel Riviere were totally ineffective.
Remy Cabella was busy but brainless again and if the dynamic duo in charge had any idea of a team formation, then Carver and Steve Stone completely failed in their task of communicating it to the shambles on the pitch or either of the substitutes joining the fray.
Those substitutes made their first team debuts but Lubo Satka and Callum Roberts were given little chance to enjoy a positive start to life in the first team and Satka had a booking to go with the miserable cup exit, while Roberts barely touched the ball.
The game limped to its inevitable conclusion with a Vuckic free-kick battered into the defensive wall, a short corner being played out for a throw-in and an Anita pass to Roberts that gave the youngster no chance of reaching it. Tiote had earlier played a short corner directly back to the offside Vuckic and the pair exchanged terms of abuse. Schoolboy stuff.
Although Yoan Gouffran was named on the bench, the introduction of 17 year-old Roberts instead for the final 11 minutes confirmed that this was a public training exercise not a competitive match - and the very last thing that United desired was an equaliser and replay.
And with the away fans already chanting against the owner, the game ended to a chorus of boos from the visiting section and this became even more vociferous when the players attempted to applaud those fans.
Carver also appeared on the field and as he strode towards the discontented Magpie following, the thought did occur that a repeat of his reaction to supporter complaints at Southampton in September was looming.
However, he continued to applaud until abruptly turning on his heel and heading for the dressing room, presumably biting his lip.
Many media observers spoke of Carver fluffing his lines in this audition for the permanent role, but to our eyes it looked like a flawless display in appeasing his superiors.
Whether JC gets the post remains to be seen, but if nothing else then he created an unwanted piece of history for the club today: the first time that three successive FA Cup exits at the first hurdle have come in as many games. It's 2015, we last won a Third Round tie in 2012.
City stewards seemingly making it unnecessarily difficult to leave their flat-pack stadium rounded off another day to forget. Stow away those tinfoil FA Cups until next year, or more likely forever, this was all too predictable.
Eighteen Premier League games to go now, starting with a visit to Chelsea on Saturday. Forgive us if we're not relishing that particular one.