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Nathan Jones with a touch of class after Newcastle semi defeat – We couldn’t climb that mountain

1 year ago
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Nathan Jones watched on as his side were blown away in the opening 20 minutes.

At St Mary’s, Newcastle United could and should have had this two-legged to sewn up, only for wayward finishing to let them down.

In this opening period of the match they were ruthless.

Sean Longstaff has been one of the chief culprits recently in terms of his and his teammates’ generally excellent play, not leading to the ball in the back of the net. Not this time.

Two cool as you like finishes and indeed he could have had a 21 minute hat-trick, putting a left footed strike just wide of the post with the keeper well beaten, again. A blistering volley after the break could and should have brought a deserved local hero hat-trick, only this time Bazunu did pull off an excellent flying save.

Nathan Jones correctly and honestly described it as a ‘mountain to climb’ when Southampton found themselves 3-0 down on aggregate after 21 minutes of this second leg.

He had made a few changes to team selection and formation from the first leg, in an attempt to give Newcastle United food for thought.

However, the way Eddie Howe’s team started the match they would have taken apart pretty much any team.

Showing a touch of class, Nathan Jones declared ‘congratulations to Newcastle’ after the final whistle, rather than coming out with some embarrassing rant claiming his team were somehow hard done by, as we see from so many managers these days.

Maybe easy to say when your team have won but Southampton players did put in a decent shift and are clearly playing for their manager. On what I have seen this season they most definitely aren’t the worst team in the division despite their current rock bottom status and indeed, I’m not convinced they are one of the worst three.

Nathan Jones speaking after the 2-1 defeat at St James’ Park:

“Congratulations to Newcastle.

“But we left ourselves with far, far too much to do.

“We have to stay in the game for the first fifteen minutes.

“We would have liked to have gotten the goal but if you don’t get the goal just don’t concede as it’s different then, different atmosphere, everything.

“We gave ourselves a mountain to climb and you can’t do that.

“It’s naive defending and you can’t do that.

“This is a high-pressure game, a semi-final, and I felt we were poor in terms of giving those goals away.

“But then the response in the second half was excellent.

“I think to come here and to do that shows that there’s a team in there but we have to start proving that.

“We changed and were really positive second half but just gave ourselves too much to do and you can’t do that here against these sides.”

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 2 Southampton 1 (3-1 on aggregate) – Tuesday 31 January 8pm

Goals:

Newcastle United:

Longstaff 5, 21, Bruno Red Card 82

Southampton:

Adams 29

(Half-time stats in brackets)

Possession was Southampton 55% (39%) Newcastle 45% (61%)

Total shots were Southampton 8 (2) Newcastle 15 (9)

Shots on target were Southampton 3 (2) Newcastle 7 (4)

Corners were Southampton 1 (0) Newcastle 5 (4)

Referee: Paul Tierney

Newcastle United:

Pope, Trippier, Schar, Botman, Burn, Bruno, Longstaff, Willock (Saint-Maximin 61), Almiron (Murphy 61 (Anderson 90+7), Joelinton, Wilson (Isak 61 (Lascelles 90+5)

Unused Subs:

Darlow, Dummett, Ritchie, Lewis

(Newcastle 2 Southampton 1 – Match ratings and comments on all the NUFC players – Read HERE)

(Newcastle 2 Southampton 1 – The instant NUFC fan / writer reaction – Read HERE)

(Newcastle United have made it to Wembley! Read HERE)

(Newcastle 2 Southampton 1 – The three big points that I’m taking from the match – Read HERE)

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