It’s been a while since my last blog because there’s been little free time lately. At this point in the season, games are coming around thick and fast with all the games postponed from last winter now being caught up on.
As a team we had been doing really well up untill the last three weeks. We seem to have shaded a little and haven’t fulfilled our expectations in the games we’ve played.
We were on a good unbeaten run which ended when we faced Manchester United. It was disappointing to lose as it is in any game but even more so because our impressive streak came to an end, we hadn’t lost in eight games.
However as a team, the important thing is how quickly you pick yourselves back up once you fall.
It was never going to be an easy task to find our fine form again as we had the red half of Liverpool awaiting.
Academy Match: Newcastle United v Liverpool
We made a slow start to the game and found ourselves one goal down in the first half. Then after losing a player to a red card, our task to take something from the game looked even further away from our grasp.
It was important that we came out in the second half with freshened minds inspired to beat Liverpool and it looked as if we could redeem ourselves when we responded in a good fashion by drawing level in the second half.
Despite our hard work to get ourselves back into the game, we let the match slip away in the final minute when Liverpool scored an emotional winner.
We battled particularly well and maybe, just maybe it would have been a different story if we had 11 men on the pitch.
The following week we were tasked with another tough fixture away at Crewe Alexandra.
Academy Match: Crewe Alexandra v Newcastle United
Only this time, we started the game really well but then dropped off the pace after.
Crewe broke the deadlock and scored on the break in a period which we were on top of. However we reacted really well and we managed to equalise straight away.
It didn’t take long though before Crewe took the lead again and believe it or not, for the second time we drew level.
I felt we could easily have gone on and won the game but unfortunately we made defensive errors which seriously cost us and as a result we lost 4-2.
Our confidence seemed and was low at this point so a meeting was arranged with the managers to assess where we were going wrong, whether it was because of cracks in the team or simply because we just eased off the gas because we weren’t far from the end of the season.
Nevertheless, we needed to pick ourselves up and stick together as we had a big derby match approaching the next week.
Academy Match: Newcastle United v Sunderland
We played Sunderland on Wednesday after they’d played and beat Barnsley on the Monday. Therefore, despite the fact they’d be full of confidence, we knew there was going to be some heavy legs in their team. This determined our game plan which was to get at them quick and create a high tempo from start to finish.
We followed our tactic to start quickly and it worked in the first half because it was clear that they were in the back foot for the majority of the first half but unfortunately we didn’t manage to turn our possession into goals.
As a team, we expected them to be fired up for the second half and they did just that. The problem was we couldn’t match that and we failed to deal with it which led to disappointing scoreline of 2-0.
Again, It’s another lesson learned and hopefully on Saturday against Nottingham Forest we’ll fight for a much needed result. It is frustrating being on a losing side especially when important points are not being picked up in crucial fixtures but that’s exactly where we have to stick together as a team and grind out performances for each other.