Sunday, 31 January 2010

Playing Like Champions

An uninspiring performance against Palace was followed by nothing more than a run around against Leicester as Newcastle extended their lead at the top of the Championship to four points.

By all accounts the three points picked up against the Eagles on Wednesday night was something of an undeserved victory, as the visitors attempted to play their way out of their devastating off-field problems. Palace dropped into administration before the game picking up an automatic ten-point deduction that seemed to light a fire in the belly of the squad.

Constantly threatening on the attack meant debutant Mike Williamson earned his Man of the Match award, regularly being called into action. Whilst fellow new-boy Wayne Routledge was able to make his mark, setting up Nile Ranger to seal the game in injury time.

Moving to the weekend and after Forest lost and West Brom, despite winning, found themselves five points back off the pace, the Magpies had the chance to push comfortably clear of the chasing pack. However a trip to the Walkers was never a guaranteed points winner and the hosts always looked the most likely to take three points.

Before the game Hughton may have taken a point back to SJP but when the home side were reduced to ten men with less than half-an-hour on the clock I expected the team to go for the throat and finish of City.

But it wasn't to be, with Leicester looking more than comfortable for the majority of the match and Newcastle looking toothless, aside from the odd offside goal.

Hughton's decision to leave both Lovenkrands and Jonas on the bench suggest he was more than happy to settle for a point as the introduction of either would've provided more of a threat than the increasingly useless Fabrice Pancrate.

However you can't always be putting four past Ipswich or scoring last minute winners and when you look at it objectively we are in a better position than we were at the start of the weekend, just not quite as good as it could've been.

Sometimes you've got to win ugly, it's what champions do.

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