Nobody likes a sore loser and Alex Neil, is a very sore loser this Thursday morning.
A match where Newcastle should have had the game won after 20 minutes and being four or five up, only to then gift wrap up for the visitors with a stupid penalty and failing to deal with a handful of Norwich counter-attacks on the break.
The Canaries dramatically collapsed in the final stages as Newcastle got their belated, but deserved, reward – yet Alex Neil straight away had the referee in his sights to blame for the last gasp defeat.
The Norwich boss blamed the amount of time added on at the end and even said he had confronted the referee about the six minutes minimum added time, after hearing what ref Peter Bankes had to say, Alex Neil dismissed it as ‘nonsense’.
If we are using the word ‘nonsense’, it would be better applied to the Norwich manager.
In normal time, the second half had five substitutions, six yellow cards, three goals and a few minutes stoppage for an injury to Ciaran Clark .
This is all before you come to the predictable time wasting by Norwich, which the referee did nothing to prevent.
In no game do you get all the time that should be added on and six minutes was the bare minimum that should have been given.
As it happens, due to the two injury time goals and lengthy celebration when the winner went in, the ref allowed another three or four minutes on top of the original six injury time minutes. In the ninth minute of added time, Norwich almost made it 4-4 when Jonny Howson’s shot was saved by Karl Darlow.
I doubt very much if Alex Neil would have been complaining quite as much about too much added time if that had gone in…
The bottom line is that all teams do it at times, waste time to try and see the game out. This tactic always has the capacity to backfire, both due to extra added time and the negative mindset that it gives to the players.
Justice was done, no matter how long it took to be dispensed!
“I will be honest with you…that (time added on) has been an issue for us all season long.
“For whatever reason I would go as far to say in about seven of the games so far we have played, four or more extra minutes at the end.
“I don’t know if it’s a new initiative they have going.
“I actually asked the referee ‘Where did the six minutes come from?’ because I didn’t see that.
“He tried to say this and that but it’s just nonsense – what they want to do is keep it going as long as possible.
“However, if they (match officials) want to play (the extra)six minutes then we have to defend for six minutes, not four and a half.
“This seems to be a strange place for me because the twice I have been here, the games have been probably two of the most bizarre games I have ever been involved in as a player, a manager, anything.
“We got ourselves into a position where we were 3-1 up, comfortable, then we concede a goal, and then we have got 90 seconds to see the game out.
“It is 3-2 with 90 seconds left on the clock and we don’t defend the box well enough. It really is as simple as that.”
(To give us your player ratings for tonight’s game go HERE)
(To read the instant fan/writer reaction to last night’s match go HERE)
(Read what Rafa had to say about the dramatic victory HERE)