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CHARACTER TEST

Posted on 3 April 2006  - 12:00

Martin Jol felt the lads showed plenty of character in the second half at St James Park.

Martin Jol felt the lads showed plenty of character in the second half at St James Park.

Of course, all the damage in Saturday's defeat was done in the first half-hour as Newcastle stormed into what turned out to be an unassailable 3-1 lead.

The first goal arrived in just a minute, Robbie Keane levelled in our first attack but goals from Shola Ameobi and Alan Shearer's penalty put us firmly on the back foot.

Nevertheless we hit back - Robbie struck the crossbar just before half-time, Jermaine Jenas missed a golden chance to reduce the deficit after 53 minutes and then Robbie clipped the post.

Unfortunately Michael Dawson then received his marching orders for a second yellow card and it was all-but over.

Martin reflected: "We showed many faces here - the first 30 minutes the way we gave goals away was almost unforgivable.

"But in the second half we came back although we were playing with with 10 men for half-an-hour.

"Normally if you play away and you give the motivation to the opponents like we did you can end up losing five or six nil but I think we stood up well. We showed character.

"Our fans would have seen that in the second half - even with 10 men, we took the initiative and should have scored a second goal.

"If we'd managed to get that second goal I think we could have given them a tough game because they looked nervous as well."