Another huge win for Bruce’s battling Mags, with second half goals from Jonjo Shelvey and Federico Fernandez seeing us come from behind to secure a massive win over Southampton at St James’ Park.
To say it wasn’t pretty at times would’ve been an understatement, but that can take nothing away from the guts, bottle and dogged determination this side continue to show.
The first half was pretty dismal from a Newcastle United perspective (not that it matters now!), with us giving the 42,000 crowd so little to shout about.
Against a team that do not have better footballers than us, the game plan was one of just allowing the opposition the ball and expecting to keep them out and get something out of it. This mentality of doing just enough is always going to catch up with us sometime, but clearly not today!
The first 45 minutes today was woeful. Willems had his worst game in a Newcastle shirt, Joelinton, Almiron and Shelvey were awful, the lack of ability to play out from the back was painfully obvious again and yet again Dubravka was the only reason we weren’t losing at half time.
Despite us coming out of the blocks quickly, the second 45 took a turn for the worse early on when Danny Ings put Southampton 1-0 up.
We improved a little, there was a ripple of encouragement from the the crowd and then, it happened.
Yet again Bruce brought on Andy Carroll. Need a goal, put Carroll on. Need to defend, put Carroll on. Worried about climate change, put Carroll on. Could you be entitled to compensation? Put Carroll on.
Then, if aiming for Andy Carroll from a set piece doesn’t work, get Carroll to cross it back into the middle brilliantly and we score. Shelvey’s header was outstanding, it was 1-1 and out of nowhere, we were back in it.
Southampton threatened, with us never looking totally secure at the back, but with Carroll causing havoc, Shelvey picking up the pace and Saint-Maximin given a free role, we suddenly had a few outlets. Then, a moment I wasn’t expecting to see all afternoon based on our performance suddenly arrived..
I stared in disbelief for a nanosecond, before jumping higher than a man of my age and physical prowess should be able to when Fede Fernandez pounced, turning in the loose ball after a great effort from Sean Longstaff.
2-1. Get in! Not sure how but get in!
The result was slightly dampened by Allan Saint-Maximin going off with a serious looking hamstring injury right at the end, meaning he is almost certain to miss the trip to Turf Moor.
Nevertheless, the win means we’re up to 10th, have taken 7 points in the last 8 days and are now 2 points behind 5th – and SEVEN clear of the drop zone all of a sudden.
Southampton will be kicking themselves, mind. I wanted to gouge my own eyes out for 89 minutes of that match. Yet somehow Steve Bruce’s black and white army just keep on picking up points!
Three more at Burnley next weekend? At this rate, why not!