Visiting Manager Simon Grayson must have been relieved when the referee blew time on Newcastle 6 Preston 0.
Relief not just at the fact that the game was over but also that the damage hadn’t been far far worse.
Newcastle scored six but could and should have got double figures, Hayden hitting the woodwork, the visiting keeper saving more than he let in, and a series of wasted chances as Mohamed Diame in particular missed an open goal.
Simon Grayson says that despite Newcastle making seven changes to the team (Preston made nine), Newcastle would be beating Premier League teams on that form.
In a strange quirk, just like the last round Newcastle play the same team in both the Cup and League in the space of a few days.
The Preston boss claiming ‘I’m sure the game at the weekend will be slightly different’.
Hopefully not all that different…
“Premier League teams could have come here and lost to Newcastle tonight, that’s the level of the opposition that we were up against but you can’t make the basic mistakes like we’ve done tonight.
“They didn’t have to do anything difficult to win the game so we have to put that right for the next few games and I’m sure the game at the weekend will be slightly different.
“The players who played tonight have had a lot of Championship action and we did okay for 20 minutes, but we gave a real soft goal away which you can’t allow and that gave them the impetus.
“Alan Browne gets sent off which makes it difficult and from then on we made bad mistakes and we allowed them too much time on the ball in the 18 yard box.
“We didn’t stay with runners or get tight to people and that’s just the basics.
“Sometimes we’d have six or seven players in the box and they’d have three or four and they were still getting opportunities.
“We didn’t defend well enough as a team and you can’t allow that at any level but when you’re doing it with ten men against a team like Newcastle, that makes it very difficult for us and that’s what’s happened tonight.
“You can imagine the frustration of us all and for the supporters who have travelled.”
Here are the stats from BBC Sport:
Newcastle: Mitrovic 19, 55 Diame 38, 87, Ritchie (Pen) 53, Perez 90+1
Possession was Preston 34% Newcastle 66%
Total shots were Preston 1 Newcastle 25
Shots on target were Preston 1 Newcastle 13
Corners were Preston 2 Newcastle 9
Newcastle starting 11:
Sels, Yedlin, Hanley, Mbemba, Dummett (Anita 58), Ritchie (Perez 75), Hayden, Colback (Shelvey 32), Atsu, Diame, Mitrovic
Clark, Gayle, Darlow, Gouffran
Referee: Andy Madley
(To view the Newcastle v Preston player ratings and add your own to our interactive system go HERE)
(To read the instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to the 6-0 win go HERE)