Newcastle United found themselves 2-0 away at Club Bruges in the Europa League but they did not panic, they worked hard and goals from Vurnon Anita and Shola Ameobi helped them to rescue a point. This will give them a great deal of drive and confidence heading into their Premier League match at home to West Ham United this weekend.
The result showed that Newcastle have great powers of recovery and that’s important for them across all formats of football. If they concede an early goal to West Ham on Sunday then they know they can always come back from it because they have a manager who knows what he’s doing and the players to snuff out any half chances which are created.
Alan Pardew deserves a great deal of credit for the comeback because he made subtle tactical changes which allowed Newcastle to press forward at a time when many of the players would have felt under pressure. The team can go into Sunday’s match confident in their manager and knowing that he can see when things are not working out and when they need to be changed.
The comeback has also done a lot to improve the mood of the squad which would have been very low after half an hour of the game. Newcastle went into the match against Bruges after a draw away at Anfield when they let a one goal lead slip after defending it well for so long. The two goal comeback at Bruges will create a little bit of energy and positivity around the side. The fact their match against West Ham is at home will add to this and there will be a lot of passionate players for Sunday’s match.
Newcastle may have been a little bit guilty in the past of not believing that they deserved to be on the European stage, that they were better off focusing on one competition only. This is rubbish, the result last nigh showed that they can dig in away from home in Europe just as effectively as they can do in the Premier League or if they are playing away at a hostile ground in the FA Cup. It gives the entire club belief that they can compete for major honours on all fronts.
Steven Taylor had to come on after an hour to replace Mike Williamson, Taylor looked in good form and seems a perfect fit to provide cover for Williamson as the big central defender continues to recover after a return to the side from injury. Add to this the fact that Newcastle were not playing either of their star centre forwards and their best midfielder, Yohan Cabaye, was only on the field for 20 minutes, it all goes to show that Newcastle have terrific strength in depth which mans they won’t be afraid to fly around the pitch and get stuck in this weekend.
The major thing that Newcastle will take into Sunday’s game is the belief and energy which has been talked about. The passionate home support will amplify this and it could be very difficult to stop them from getting a result.
image: © mikebrown59