Thanks to our man on the spot Jonathan Drape-Comyn at St Andrews, for the match ratings from Birmingham 1 Newcastle 1.
Sels 4 – Does not look comfortable, handling is bad, distribution is bad, and having stood behind the goal for the whole game, his communication is poor too.
Yedlin 6 – Tried his best going forward but failed to create much.
Hanley 7 – A solid game, didn’t do much wrong.
Lascelles 7 – Ditto. Could he be more vocal on the pitch? Team seems to have no drive, no urgency, no “get up and go” at the moment. Up to the captain to instill that in them on the pitch.
Haidara 7 – Did well at centre-half, will provide some much needed competition at left back.
Lazaar 7 – Started the game well, looked lively and was our main outlet, but tailed off in the second half – perhaps due to a lack of match fitness?
Colback 4 – I try to defend Colback because he does try…but again today his performance was awful and he looked very tired after 60 minutes.
Tiote 6 – Was unlucky to be substituted, rather than Colback. Played a typical Tiote game, was combative in the middle but gave the ball away a little too frequently.
Anita 5 – I didn’t even realise he was playing after half an hour. He should be the one looking for the ball (in fact they all should be) without Shelvey in the team but he went hiding today, as per usual when he is deployed in the middle.
Murphy 8 – Newcastle’s best player by a country mile today. Held the ball up, won his fair share of flick-ons and scored a goal. Deserves another chance in the replay for sure.
Mitrovic – N/A (Not on long enough)
Gouffran 4 – Did nothing, as per usual, except miss an open goal. In fact he didn’t even miss the open goal because he decided not to shoot at the open goal.
Hayden – N/A (Not on long enough)
Ritchie – N/A (Not on long enough)
Overall team verdict:
Very poor again. No urgency, no creativity. All too happy to sit behind the ball at the moment and the players seem all too happy when Newcastle do have the ball, to let somebody else be the one to take responsibility and create something. Really really poor.
Stats from BBC Sport:
Birmingham 1 Newcastle 1
Newcastle: Murphy 5
Birmingham: Jutkiewicz 42
Possession was Birmingham 47% Newcastle 53%
Total shots were Birmingham 9 Newcastle 5
Shots on target were Birmingham 3 Newcastle 2
Corners were Birmingham 1 Newcastle 6
Referee: Neil Swarbrick
Crowd: 13,171 (Newcastle 4,671)
Sels, Anita, Lascelles, Hanley, Haidara (Ritchie 69), Yedlin, Tiote (Hayden 65), Colback, Lazaar, Murphy, Mitrovic (Gouffran 10)
Darlow, Dummett, Clark, Gayle
You can follow the author on Twitter @JonathanComyn
(Read the instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to the match HERE)
— Ciaran Phelan (@ciaran410) January 7, 2017