A sterling performance from both fans and players helped Newcastle United to claw their way out of the bottom three on goal difference. Goals by Steven Taylor, Obafemi Martins and Peter Lovenkrands in response to Middlesbrough’s dodgy opener, an own goal by Habib Beye, was enough to sink the Smoggies and give Shearer his first win as Toon boss.
It was a do or die battle with the loser an almost certainty to go down. What wasn’t certain though was Michael Owen’s performance. Was his job just to merely run the Boro’ defenders ragged and make way for the pacey Martins and Lovenkrands? If so, it was done to perfection. I can’t help but think though that Michael Owen’s days at Newcastle United are numbered. He is not the player we paid 17 million quid for and he’s looked a shadow of his former self. With his wages, it will almost be a relief to get rid of him.
However, before we start talking about player departures we still have the small task of Fulham at home and Villa away. All we have to do is equal what Hull do. We have a vastly superior goal difference and three points this weekend against Fulham would be just the ticket (a favour from Bolton wouldn’t go amiss either).
A quick mention tonight for Mark Viduka – the man was immense. If he’d been fit enough and played in more games this season then it is unlikely that we would be in this mess. If he can keep on playing like this til the end of the season then he will leave St. James’s Park with his head held high.
A quote from Alan Shearer summed up the result best when he said to the players after the game:
Enjoy the winning feeling, enjoy being out of the bottom three and make sure we don’t go back in it
Howay the Toon.