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The 3 big unlikely positives from Newcastle v Sunderland

6 years ago
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When the match finished yesterday, I must admit my first thought was far from looking for positives from the latest Newcastle v Sunderland disappointment.

On reflection though there were some bright spots and I thought three unlikely players provided them, none of the trio starting the season as first team choices.

Jak Alnwick maybe deserves the highest praise. While those in front left him exposed far too often, the keeper could have been forgiven if he’d crumbled under the intense pressure of the occasion after suffering the shellshock of the two four goal demolition jobs in London.

Instead he stood up to everything thrown at him and came for everything in the air, he might not prove to be Premier League standard but Alnwick most definitely has bottle and can take some grim satisfaction out of his role in the match. The young keeper having no chance with the late winner.

The second candidate is the much maligned Steven Taylor.

Not only did he bravely save a certain goal when Fletcher helped him into the post, Taylor was the only one of our centre-backs to look the part. Coloccini had a nightmare and his early booking for a ridiculous challenge on the self-same Fletcher suggested what was to follow from the normally composed Argentinian.

The final positive is Ayoze Perez.

While this may not be a surprise to fans after his displays in the last two months, Alan Pardew bizarrely chose to pick out the Spaniard pre-match as somebody who might not be capable of handling the derby atmosphere.

Instead of course we saw yet another mature performance, with great touch and intelligence as he regularly outwitted several markers.He just couldn’t quite put a goal on the end of it but his tricks and general play have the look of a very good striker in the making.

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