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Pardew ‘The Kids Done Good’

8 years ago
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Newcastle’s return to Europe this time was never going to be along the lines of the trip to Antwerp under Kevin Keegan.

Back then thousands made the trip and saw a full strength United take the Belgians apart with a Robert Lee hat-trick and five goals overall without reply.

In its own way though this trip to Greece ticked a decent number of boxes.

It gave players like Campbell, Amalfitano and Bigirimana the chance to make their competitive first team debuts and gave fringe players valuable game time.

Most importantly, after an early blow, United bounced back to give themselves what should be a straighforward second leg.

Alan Pardew;

“We got it about right with our team selection. We lacked a bit of devil but that apart, I thought we were excellent.

I thought our pre-season preparations served us well. We neutered the ball, took the sting out of the game and made them work really hard.

The young players struggled to adjust at first but everyone gave their maximum.

Ryan Taylor hit a few even better than that one in training yesterday but there can’t be too many better in the Premier League with his accuracy from dead balls.

I’m just a little disappointed we didn’t win the game in the second half.

They proved they’ll be no pushovers, so it isn’t a foregone conclusion. We have still got to finish the job off, so I will be picking a side to do just that”.

I’m guessing the reference to young players struggling early on will be at least in part talking about Tavernier who three times got caught out by a ball over the top and on the third occasion they scored. The defender though looked especially accomplished going forward  and obviously has talent, just maybe more drilling into him about his positional play.

I’d been led to understand that Harper was going to be number two rather than Elliot and last night’s selection backed that up, though I still worry if either of them have to stand in for Krul in important matches, Harper’s poor effort for the goal further proof.

The European job half done and hopefully the second leg will then lead us to places that are easier accessible and allow more of us to get stuck into another European adventure.

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