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ricardo

Ricardo's report v Newcastle

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I suppose most of us have been filled with renewed hope after recent results but I have to admit to mild disappointment when neither Pinto nor Oliviera appeared on the team sheet. Alex Tetty however was a welcome returnee for what threatened to be a pivotal match.We needed a calm measure opening to settle the side but it wasn''t to be. On the stroll up to the ground I remarked to my son that it had been a while since we had gone behind in a home game and after the first minutes action he accused me of talking it up. The visitors came straight forward from the off and when Howson lost the ball in a midfield tussle there was Colback to neatly find a Perez in the box who slotted first time past Ruddy with the entire City backline  looking as lively as traffic cones.It stunned the crowd and it looked like getting worse as the City defence continued to dither and Newcastle continued on the front foot. Klose almost delayed too long with Mitrovic hovering before Ruddy pounced on the loose ball. Then Martin was hustled off the ball when he should have headed clear but with the crowd baying in annoyance somehow City survived. To cap it all Ruddy then dropped a cross which sat inviting a tap in before another panicky clearance. With only six or seven minutes on the clock it could have easily been game set and match.By sheer grit City clawed their way back into the match when the impressive Alex Tetty  began breaking up the visitors and at last getting City going forward. On 12 minutes Wes finally got some space and sent Jerome spinning away down the left. The Newcastle defence was caught square and when the big City striker out muscled his marker he fed a low ball across goal for Jacob Murphy to slide in an unlikely equaliser. This time it was the visitors who looked stunned as City began to get more into the game. On 17 minutes Jerome was again tussling with a defender as the advancing keeper looked favourite for the ball only for a muffed clearance to fall kindly for the City man who walked the ball into the net for an even unlikelier lead.The City defence however were still giving us nightmares and a leveller looked on the cards when Mitrovic beat Martin to across only for John Ruddy to block the header on the line. Minutes later another low cross form the right was pinged against the foot of Ruddy''s left post and in the scramble an offside flag saved further City blushes.The home side could rarely get any concerted control although Wes was always dangerous on the ball. Another lovely break down the left by Murphy almost set up a third for City on the break. Whitts made acres of ground up on the right and when the ball came over his powerful low drive form the corner of the box was only inches wide of the far post with the keeper beaten. Then Wes was played Howson in but he couldn''t emulate his Saturday strike as the ball sailed a yard wide. At the other end a Newcastle corner almost brought a goal only for Wes to head away at the far postThe game was being played at quite a high tempo but it was the visitors who looked the most assured and it was with no little sense of relief that we welcome the halftime whistle. The other scores round the grounds didn''t look very helpful so it was essential that we got something tonight although three points still looked a long way off.The second half continued in much the same pattern with City restricted to the occasional break forward. Newcastle should have been level just after 50 minutes but somehow a close range strike that beat Ruddy was hooked clear after rebounding off the underside of the bar. Jerome was running himself into the ground up front and Tetty was like a human dynamo against relentless Newcastle attacks. There were narrow escapes almost too numerous to mention and as time slipped away we began to dream of an unlikely win.The tiring Jerome came off to huge applause with ten minutes left but sadly an equalising goal soon followed. Pritchard, who had replaced Wildshut, before the hour mark was harshly adjudged to have fouled and when the kick came in there were several chances to cleat but there was a sense of inevitability when Lascelles netted low past Ruddy.City tried to come again but couldn''t and it was the visitors who looked like nicking it. They might well have done so but for two superb stops by John Ruddy in stoppage time. In all honesty this was a point won rather than two lost and in a game where everyone gave their full 100% it is hard to pick favourites. For me it is equal top billing between John Ruddy and Alex Tetty with honourable mentions for Cameron Jerome and Wes. You couldn''t fault the effort or the entertainment but I have to say that City''s defence looks no better than its been all season and a Playoff place is still no better odds than even money.

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Good report. I thought Dijks had a good game too. I''m with you, I think the play-offs are still very touch and go and I think our defence may cost us in the long run.

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Defencive weakness whatever combination we use, saves by grace ATM is Ruddy who is sparing our blushes. Newcastle are a terrific side breaking forward however and not many sides can n this division would be able to keep them quite all game.

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Thanks Ricardo.

In the euphoria of the win over Forest I felt troubled by the goal Forest scored because it was a straight ball played right through our defence for an out of condition striker to latch onto watched by our centre halves who gave up.

It summed up our problems for me but was masked by five outstanding goals for us.

Against top sides we don''t get the same breaks but are always vulnerable to conceding as our central defence is fundamentally weak.

That said, I am really encouraged by the character shown by most of our players tonight. A game like the Forest game can be a millstone when followed by another home match in quick succession and Newcastle are on the crest of a wave. To regroup and come back at them was outstanding. And most sides in our position would have gone on to lose because the momentum was fully with Newcastle.

It is important to stay positive and see this as the continuation of a ''run'' in the same way the Wigan result was assimilated. The sides above us are all getting results but there is a long way to go yet and consistency will be the key.

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An on-song Newcastle have proven to be very difficult to get points off away this season - I think I''m right that they have more away points than home, and had let just 8 in prior to tonight''s game. Taking these things into consideration, and our injury list, I think it has to be considered a decent point gained.

We were never going to win every game between now and the end of the season, and are in a position where keeping our form could easily see us end somewhere in the top 6. It''ll be hard but there''s 14 games left and the gap is next to nothing. Winning some of the games against those above will clearly help, but it''s as important not to lose those games.

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 A cracking atmosphere, with the 2nd half feeling like it was a case of not if but when with regards a Newcastle goal. Whittaker didn''t do much wrong, as most feared.I can only wonder what the reaction would have been on here had we have gone one up in the first few minutes to then gifted our opponents a  goal that gave them the lead. Then to only have scrapped a draw. Agree with Ricardo it was more a point gained than two points lost.Pleased to see yet another player back firing on all cylinders. Tettey certainly removed previous doubts I had about him. Ruddy seems to be not only error free but having his best spell for a long, long time. Maybe it was not such a bad move to have another keeper snapping at his heels.All in all a memorable night, and as fans wandered off into the night the feeling must be that it''s still all to play for.

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Could of lost it, they could of scored more, but felt that if the likes of Wildschut and Howson had had ''good'' games, then we could of put them under more pressure, in key areas of the pitch. We certainly played, at times, better football than them, so must take heart from that.

I''m sorry but I am getting continually frustrated with the Murphys, and their decision making , and also how easily they get brushed off the ball. I watched Jacob, last night, and a few times, he played the ball, and then switched to ''Redmonditis'' , and mentally, let the game move on, whilst he was thinking what to do next.

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I think this result is huge in the terms of our continued recovery from our awful spell. Not so long ago we would have completely crumbled in a game like that, especially after going behind so early. And right up until the end, we were still showing attacking intent, and trying to go on and win the game.Has this result finally put the wobble to bed?

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Is it ''wobble to bed'' or ''bubble to burst''? Who knows?At least we''re all sure that ''we haven''t beaten anyone in the top half'' except the ones we have beaten who are in the top half.Exciting/worrying (please delete as you see fit) times ahead!!!!

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Yep, the remarks about the defence sum it up. We''re just not good enough at the back and we haven''t really done anything about it, although the adition of Dijks is good. After the spell of 9 defeats in 11 games, we were going to have to play catch up. I don''t think we will catch the teams above us up, just because we still leak silly goals.

Midfield was brilliant , as was our goalkeeper... Ruddy was my MoM , Tettey a close second

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@Morty - if Ruddy doesn''t make those saves at 1-0 then we are 2-0 down inside 10 minutes and we may as well have packed up & gone home.

We certainly would have just crumbled a few months ago - even last night there were signs of it, especially when Martin launched the ball into the crowd after Ruddy had saved us from going 2-0 down after Martins botched header

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Indeed it was a strange opening half hour. We could have been 3-0 down after ten minutes but had Whittakers shot gone in we could easily have been 3-1 up.

Can''t complain about the entertainment factor but I think we might end the season thinking what might have been if only we had been more solid at the back.

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I have to be honest Ricardo I think you were a bit selfish last night10 mins or so to go, surely you could have nipped out for a peeI know many others would have done

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Classic ''Colemanballs'' on 2m 30sec"and I thought that was deja vu all over again there "

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[quote user="Bulldog Rummin"]Classic ''Colemanballs'' on 2m 30sec"and I thought that was deja vu all over again there "[/quote]Yes, and if I had only nipped out for a pee, Howson might have scored.[:D]

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[quote user="ricardo"][quote user="Bulldog Rummin"]Classic ''Colemanballs'' on 2m 30sec"and I thought that was deja vu all over again there "[/quote]Yes, and if I had only nipped out for a pee, Howson might have scored.[:D][/quote]exactly !Ricardo, the man with the golden touch (so to speak)

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After the first goal went in, it could have so easily have been a repeat of Brighton away. So, well done to the lads for gritting their teeth and fighting back. Newcastle are, by far, the strongest team in the Championship, looking at the fixtures, Sheffield Wed & Huddersfield away and Brighton at home are the only matches we could lose, if we do, it would be leaving us with as possible 91 points even if we lose/draw a few other matches it would still be enough for the play offs -- always look on the bright side of life ! 

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I only listened on Canaryworld so can make no comment about the game except to say

Newcastle conceded two goals also so to continually bemoan our defence may well be justified but I bet a few Geordies are questioning why Jerome outmuscled Lascelles and why they stood still when Darlow messed up.

Our defence, among many in this division, is not good and I''m afraid the forward players in English football are far better than defenders. well illustrated by the fact that there were 42 goals in 11 matches last night.

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