Alan Shearer was impressed with Jacob Murphy’s cameo during our 1-1 draw with Aston Villa – believing he did more in 10 minutes than most did in 90 on Friday night.
Steve Bruce brought Murphy on with just 12 minutes to go and the move paid dividends as he teed up our skipper in the 94th minute to snatch what could be a crucial point in the relegation battle.
That said, some question why he wasn’t brought on earlier, with the winger proving in glimpses that he is capable of creating a goal scoring opportunity.
Here’s what he had to say on BBC Radio 5 Live, insisting that a draw was about right as defeat would’ve been “very harsh” on his former club:
“Newcastle showed a bit of urgency and intent in the final third (towards the end of the game) for once,”
“And Murphy came on for ten or 15 minutes and probably offered more in those minutes than any player in the Newcastle team offered before that.
“He hit the bar, sat two defenders down and created more than they did for a lot of the game.
“A draw was a fair result. I think a defeat would have been very harsh on Newcastle despite them not playing very well but Villa didn’t either.”
Shearer also had this to say on Friday night, praising the Murphy cross and Lascelles header that rescued us a point:
“Wow, what a cross, and what a header from the captain.
“Murphy does ever so well. He picks it up at the far post and he has to get it in and get it into the near post. “He did exactly that and Lascelles, like a centre forward rises, gets across the near post and what a header.
“What a crucial point that could be for Newcastle United that could be.”
“We got two late goals, I think it’s a fair result.
“Villa did have the chance to put the game to bed with that late opportunity which Dubravka saved but for the last two or three minutes of the game, Newcastle showed the urgency which we wanted them to do.
“They showed that little bit of quality that had been lacking for the vast majority of that game – one good ball in, one good header, someone on the end of it and that could be a vital point for them.”
While I don’t share the same enthusiasm over the result as Shearer, the ability of Murphy can be taken as a positive from now until the end of the season.
He should be starting with Miggy Almiron and Allan Saint-Maximin injured but, let’s not forget, he also should have scored when the game was deadlocked at 0-0.
We are picking up draws in games billed as “must-win”, which concerns me when I look at the fixture list for April – a month filled with games against top six sides!