Paul Simpson has pointed to Moussa Sissoko’s tracking back as a big factor in beating Norwich.
The Newcastle first team coach says that with the scores delicately balanced at 3-2 and Norwich dominant, a big turning point was the fourth goal.
Simpson talking about Sissoko ‘tracking all the way back and making a sliding tackle’ before then turning defence into attack and helping to lay on the fourth goal for Aleksandar Mitrovic.
The coach also referencing the fact that as well as the four goals, Gini Wijnaldum also cleared a chance off the line just after half-time, when there was one goal between the teams.
Moussa Sissoko was praised for his play going forward on Sunday but a number of times failed to track back, which was especially noted when Norwich scored their first goal.
Paul Simpson didn’t pick out individuals but admitted there had been problems with tracking runners at times, as well as preventing crosses coming, plus dealing with those crosses when they did arrive in the box.
Steve McClaren and his staff knowing fine well that they rode their luck a lot of the time against Norwich and would have been punished by better teams.
Paul Simpson talking to NUFC TV:
“There were things that changed the game. There was obviously Gini Wijnaldum getting the four goals but a big thing people probably wouldn’t have noticed is Gini Wijnaldum clearing one off the line at the start of the second half.
“It is Moussa Sissoko tracking all the way back and making a sliding tackle, winning the ball, then breaking forward and scoring another goal (to make it 4-2).
“We are new to the football club and there are many many people who have been here for years and they know what these players are capable of.
“We are still learning and we learnt a hell of a lot about Moussa Sissoko on Sunday. The strength and the energy he has got, we also saw the quality he has got on the ball. Fantastic football. He has given us a little taster and we want to see it week in week out, because to do well in the Premier League you have to be consistent.
“We have got to be spot on, we had little moments where we didn’t track runners, didn’t close down and block crosses, didn’t pick up when crosses came into the box and we got punished with two goals.”