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Disappointment for George

Posted on 27 August 2000  - 12:00

English Barclays Premiership

George Graham naturally cut a disappointing figure after Saturday's 2-0 defeat at Newcastle.

He was certainly unhappy with his side's defending - especially the first goal, which he described as 'suicidal' - and although he acknowledged that we had spells of possession, he accepted we didn't do enough with it.

We did have chances and saw both Darren Anderton and Oyvind Leonhardsen hit the post but the home side ended our unbeaten start to the Premiership with goals from Gary Speed and Daniel Cordone after nine and 65 minutes respectively.

"The first goal looked offside but I'm not going to blame that," said the boss. "I don't think we should have been playing offside so early in the game.

"Looking at both sides beforehand, we really fancied our chances. After the good performance against Middlesbrough during the week I thought our play would warrant having a good result up here.

"But I don't think you can come up here and afford to give a team a goal start. It was a little bit suicidal. Even if it was offside it could only have been a yard and if I'm going to play offside I like to get teams five yards offside.

"That first goal was the killer. If we'd scored first I think we would have won the game.

"We looked a little unsure at the back though. There were too many mistakes. The one for the goal, the one cleared off the line and there was another misunderstanding between the back four and the goalkeeper. It happened too many times.

"Having said all that it was the quietest I've ever heard a Newcastle crowd and that's because they didn't dominate - 30 minutes into the game and I don't think they'd had a shot on target apart from the goal.

"We had plenty of possession but we just didn't hurt them. We hit the post and had a couple cleared off the line. You need one of those to go in. When we went 2-0 down we changed formation a bit and looked good but didn't look like scoring.

"That's two away games we've played, we've now got two home games and you'd like to think we'd win those."