Danny Murphy had some encouraging words for Newcastle United.

After three months and 11 games without a victory, the BBC Sport pundit thought there were positives to take out of the 1-0 victory over Watford, other than the obvious three points.

Summing up what he had seen, Danny Murphy declared ‘…a group of players trying to win a game of football for their manager and their city.’

How they achieved that wasn’t due to great football in the main, Murphy instead talking ‘ran the hard yards’ and put their bodies on the line’ to enable the club to get out of the bottom three, even if that only proves temporary with games still to be played this weekend.

Even the most biased Newcastle fan would have to accept that Watford could and should have been out of sight by half-time.

The visitors were so much on top that they appeared very comfortable in the knowledge that they were set to win, as Danny Murphy points out, they had 13 shots before the break as they cut through Newcastle with ease.

As always though, you have to take your chances when on top and the final half hour saw Newcastle take advantage, finding a goal of their own somehow (it was always going to be a set-piece if it ever came) and that completely popped Watford’s balloon. Their attacking play faltered as Newcastle got a little confidence and momentum with the crowd stirred into life, with Ki instrumental in at last getting the home side playing some football.

Danny Murphy believes ‘That might give them a platform and a springboard now, to go on a decent run.’

With a side that appears to have so few goals in them, you can’t imagine Newcastle winning too many matches comfortably this season.

However, next week we have a very similar set-up, Rafa’s team at home to a team with better players than NUFC who play good attacking football and have made as good a start to the season as Watford.

Newcastle are unlikely to overpower Bournemouth with football but if they show the same grit and determination and get the odd break like they did against Watford, plus find a goal or two from somewhere, then it could be a valuable six points from the two games before the international break.

It is now 243 minutes since Newcastle conceded a goal and Rafa’s defensive expertise and discipline looks clearly to be set to be the main factor if the Magpies are indeed to be safe this season.

Danny Murphy speaking on Match of The Day:

“Watford were terrific in the first half – they had 13 shots.

“People sometimes question whether players are playing for a manager.

“I will tell you what I saw today…

“They dug in at times and it wasn’t pretty.

“It wasn’t a great performance but they ran the hard yards.

“They put their bodies on the line against a good Watford side.

“They (Watford) make chances and they have beaten some good teams.

“Sometimes it doesn’t matter how you get a win, just so long as you get one…and they (Newcastle) were desperate for one.

“That might give them a platform and a springboard now, to go on a decent run.”

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 1 Watford 0

Goal: Perez 65

Possession was Watford 58% Newcastle 42%

Total shots were  Watford 16 Newcastle 10

Shots on target were Watford 1 Newcastle 2

Corners were  Watford 9 Newcastle 8

Referee: Craig Pawson

Newcastle United:

Dubravka, Yedlin, Lascelles (Schar 45), Fernandez, Dummett, Ritchie, Diame, Shelvey (Ki 51), Kenedy, Rondon, Muto (Perez 45+2)

Unused Subs:

Darlow, Joselu, Manquillo, Atsu

Crowd: 49,157 (Watford approx 1,500)

(Thousands of Newcastle fans didn’t miss much apart from a win! – Read HERE)

(Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Newcastle 1 Watford 0 – Read HERE)

(Javi Gracia can’t believe how his Watford side didn’t win, never mind get beat – Read HERE)

(Graeme Swann video message for Rafa Benitez after Newcastle win – See HERE)

(Charlie Nicholas dissects Newcastle 1 Watford 0 – Read HERE)

  • Toontaff

    After players like Sissulko it’s great to see our players trying – just a shame so many of them aren’t very good. Cannot fault their effort, but too many are not PL players. Watford, in the first half, showed us how to attack at speed. If only we’d loaned them The Hoss, they’d have scored a few………..

  • Kenny

    I doubt we will go on a decent run as the lack of quality in the team is mind boggling.
    it will be a backs to the wall job in every game hoping to nick points here & there.
    Ashley is a disaster for the club & he needs to be driven out Asap

    • Leicester Mag

      First win in 11, first in 170+ days. Comprehensively outplayed for the bulk of the game, at home. Not sure this points to a long run. We’ll stay up in all likelihood due to the fact that Cardiff and Huddersfield are close to the poorest sides in Prem league history and Rafa is good enough to loose fewer than likely Fulham / Southampton etc. A new dawn?

      • Kenny

        And it`ll be the same next season & the season after

      • Toontaff

        You’ll find, next season, after 10 year deals end, ticket price rises and the lack of quality in our squad due to nice guy Mike, that there will be a lot less at SJP. Putrid football to watch, shocking atmosphere and just generally fans are sick of it all. A boycott will not achieve much, because he’s already got the money for the tickets.

    • Philippines

      Very negative view. IMHO there are some very fine players in the squad. All we need is a Shearer, Mo Salah, or the like.

  • Carverlier football

    Defense has never been the problem (relatively speaking)… A good manager can drill a cheaply assembled set of defenders into a good (enough) unit. Which isn’t to say there’s always incremental gains to be had with better players… But unfortunately for us, it’s a lot harder to assemble an effective attacking unit on the cheap, it requires the sort of money we are unwilling to spend…

  • Cockneytrev

    Two matches this season spring to mind that we dominated in the first half and got nothing, Arsenal and Manure,,,, but all we heard was how good they were and deserved the win,,,
    Yesterday a poor Watford side were t he better team in the first half and a very poor Newcastle team were the better team in the second half, we deserved the win, we had two shots on target, they had one…both teams need a goal scorer.