The words of John Hartson after watching Newcastle’s defeat to Leicester will make you think.
Newcastle fans were understandably devastated when seeing their side lose for the sixth time in the last seven matches, a game that most had marked down as one where the players had to get at least a point from it.
The fact the winner was yet another goal conceded late in a half/match just made it more cruel, especially when it was an own goal that decided matters.
However, John Hartson says it was a match that could in reality have gone either way.
When Dwight Gayle made it 2-2 he says it was Newcastle who ‘were in the ascendancy’ and the late Leicester winner was ‘very, very cruel on Newcastle’.
John Hartson declaring that ‘Newcastle will win games if they show that endeavour every week’.
Difficult at this point to feel those positives from the match but let us hope Hartson is proved right in the coming weeks.
John Hartson covering the game for BBC Radio 5 Live:
“Brilliant game of football.. Newcastle will win games if they show that endeavor every week. Leicester lots of really good players.
“It’s very, very cruel on Newcastle.
“They were in the ascendancy (at 2-2), Leicester get the break and Vardy holds the ball up well before passing it to Okazaki in the area. Perez tracks back, like all good strikers do, but he tries to poke it wide of the goal and, unfortunately for him, it ends up in the net.
“Everyone knew it was going to be a long, hard season for Newcastle.
“They’ve played really well today but they’ve been outdone by a team with a lot quality.
“It was a magnificent game between two teams who showed a lot of endeavor, they were going end to end and it was a great advert for the Premier League.
“They’ve shown plenty of character so far this season Newcastle, but whether that’s going to be enough to keep them in the Premier League I don’t know.”
During the match, John Hartson commenting after Dwight Gayle made it 2-2:
“Dwight Gayle shows great feet there, he goes through a crowd of bodies and the Leicester players are all looking around and looking at each other.
“Leicester can’t quite clear the ball, it falls to Gayle who hits it low and hard into the bottom of Schmeichel’s goal. It may take a deflection but Gayle’s not bothered about that one bit – he’s brought Newcastle back level.
“You feel there’s a winning goal in this game. On the pitch, when you come back from a goal behind from 1-0 or 2-1 you get that feeling of ascendancy in the game and a bit more confidence that you can get that winning goal.”
Stats from BBC Sport:
Newcastle United 2 Leicester 3
Newcastle: Joselu 4, Gayle 73
Leicester: Mahrez 20, Gray 60, Perez OG 86
Possession was Leicester 62% Newcastle 38%
Total shots were Leicester 13 Newcastle 10
Shots on target were Leicester 5 Newcastle 4
Corners were Leicester 5 Newcastle 6
Referee: Neil Swarbrick
Darlow, Yedlin, Clark, Lejeune, Manquillo, Ritchie (Atsu 64), Hayden, Merino, Murphy (Perez 71), Joselu (Mitrovic 88) Gayle
Elliot, Lascelles, Shelvey, Diame
Crowd: 52,117 (Leicester 3,000)
(Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction after the defeat HERE)
(Alan Shearer sends message to Mike Ashley after final whistle, read HERE)
(Phil Neville gives brutal overview of Newcastle team, read HERE)