Wednesday evening’s quick Premier League turnaround saw head coach Dean Smith take his Aston Villa side to St James’ Park to face off against former manager Steve Bruce’s Newcastle United side.
Having only taken a point in our two games since top flight football returned and lost two opportunities to eek ourselves out of the relegation zone, the Newcastle match was massive given those sides we are yet to face.
Despite being thoroughly on top in the first period, we just couldn’t take the chances when they came along, and as Newcastle came more into it in the second period, they rather predictably took the lead. Changes were made and Villa rallied (and that should send its own message about wingers or two up front) and we got a deserved point but everyone should be trying to work out how it wasn’t all three.
Speaking to the BBC following the full time whistle, Smith said of the result.
“It’s an annoying point. The majority of the game I thought we were the better team. Our defensive display was good but we have to be more clinical. There are lots of positives to take. The commitment from the players was great, I thought we threw the kitchen sink at them. We were throwing everything at their box trying to get back into the game and then we almost won it. We had a bit of stick at the weekend about not having much of the ball against Chelsea but they’re a well established Premier League team.”
Probably more positives than negatives after that to be honest, but again it wasn’t the win we desperately needed.