Newcastle v Leeds

I know there’s been mixed feelings from Leeds fans since Friday, but I can tell you now, I think that was a good point for us at Newcastle and there were plenty of good things for us to take away.

I’m not going to argue with anyone who thinks we should have won the game – we could have been out of sight way before they equalised just before half-time – but any point away from home is a good one, especially against teams who are around you in the table.

You can point to the chances we had after we went 1-0 up and if we’d taken just one of them we’d probably have gone on and won the game, maybe quite comfortably, but we didn’t. That’s how it goes sometimes.

I have to be honest, I was very impressed with us defensively because in Allan Saint-Maximin they have an unbelievable talent. How he is still at Newcastle I have no idea, and if you take him out of that team, I cannot see how they would have any chance of staying in this league.

I thought Liam Cooper had his best game of the season by a mile and it was a proper captain’s performance from him. Him and Luke Ayling were great together and certainly put to bed any misgivings about them as a central defensive partnership. And, I know I’ve been critical of Rodrigo, but I thought he was excellent. He worked unbelievably hard for the team and deserves real credit.

If there was one frustration – other than not taking our chances in the first half – it was the service Pat Bamford received at times. He made some real intelligent runs and got into little pockets, but all too regularly we played it shorter or switched play, instead of hitting the space for him.

He had a couple of half chances in the second half, but I thought he deserved more for his efforts. If he’d have seen a bit more of the ball when we were on top, I think he could have done some damage.

During the closing stages, I think we looked like we were happy to take the point, and that’s no bad thing with two winnable home games coming up against West Ham and Watford.

Before then we go to Fulham in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday and giving that the injuries are starting to rack up, you’d expect a young team for that one because we have to be focused on what’s coming up after.

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