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Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm Flailing Tube Man

Neil, Hughton and the case for the defence

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Right. I haven''t been on here recently and I''ve only had a skim through the threads from this evening, so apologies if any of this has been raised.After the defensive debacle today, I''ve seen a lot of comments around social media about how we were too open, attacking and naive today. There''s no doubt that today we were- obviously Newcastle were a team low on confidence and we threw far too much caution to the wind in trying to expose their leaky, panicky defence. As it turned out, it left us in a position where they basically did the same to us.Yet the ''Hughton out brigade'', or bandwagon, or witch-hunt, whatever you want to call it was protesting about the total opposite- defensively minded, dull, depressing football. Obviously there''s a balance to be had. Hughton was too negative, and certainly today Neil was too gung-ho. As for Neil, he wasn''t the new messiah when he took us up, and he isn''t out of his depth now. Everyone loves knee-jerk reactions and sometimes a sense of realism and a look at the bigger picture is needed.But what would we prefer? I''m sure most of us would like to see this approach. We may end up taking a pasting when it doesn''t work, but let''s not get too carried away with the result: we may have lost 6-2 but the game as a whole was far closer than that. I know stats don''t tell the full story, but we actually had 13 shots to Newcastle''s eight and 56% of the possession.The defensive unit is taking an absolute pasting tonight and

deservedly so really- they weren''t given much protection with the

approach we had today but it still doesn''t excuse shipping six goals.

The two main problems for me is that we don''t have a good enough

right-back within the squad and the centre backs have absolutely no

competition to push themAnd this may sound bizarre when you consider goal difference, but I think it is better to lose 6-2 than it is to lose 2-0 or 3-0 and create sweet FA in the final third. Now that is totally depressing and energy-sapping. Compared to parking ten men behind the ball, not being good enough and

getting your tummy tickled, today wasn''t as terrible as that prospect. I''d much rather see a positive, attacking display and a rollercoaster ride, because that''s why we all love football, right?There were positives today. Redmond looked lively again and Mbokani acquitted himself very well on his full debut. We''ve also shown, again, that we are capable of scoring plenty goals and functioning as a cohesive unit up top.Anyway, we need to move on. We still have 29 games to go, starting with West Brom next week. And we know we won''t concede against them, because Tony Pulis would never allow it.So keep your heads up. We''ve had plenty more depressing days than today and we''ve bounced back.

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