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LADS PASS THE TEST

Posted on 10 January 2006  - 12:00

Michael Carrick believes the lads passed a real test of character in bouncing back from defeat at West Brom to beat Newcastle.

Michael Carrick believes the lads passed a real test of character in bouncing back from defeat at West Brom to beat Newcastle.

The midfielder again played his part as we toppled the Toon 2-0 at White Hart Lane on New Year's Eve.

Teemu Tainio struck a sweet volley to make it 1-0 just before the break and open his goalscoring account for us before Mido's volley secured the points in the second half.

Michael had a battle royale up against the non-stop energy of Newcastle's Scott Parker and was delighted to see us respond to the Hawthorns disappointment with another home victory.

"It was an important win for us to bounce back from West Brom," reflected the England international. "We haven't suffered many defeats this season so it was a test to see how we'd react and I thought the lads were brilliant. We thoroughly deserved the win.

"It took us a little time to get into the game but I still felt we played some good stuff in the first half and caused them a few problems.

"It was nice to get the first goal because we were playing well at that stage and to go in 1-0 up was a good boost for us.

We wanted to kill the game off in the second half and we did that. It was comfortable in the end

"I enjoyed the test against Scotty (Parker), he's a whole-hearted player and you know you've been in a game when you come up against him. It was difficult especially in the first half but I think we coped well, got the ball down, played our game and eventually forced them back.

"We were all disappointed after West Brom but we looked at the bigger picture and we were fourth in the league and it was only our second away defeat of the season, so although it hurt, we didn't make too big a thing of it.

"Thankfully we bounced back against Newcastle and we can now move on again.

"We're on 37 points already and that gives us the platform to hopefully stay in and around that fourth spot."

Meanwhile, Michael was pleased to see Teemu join his fellow midfielders on the scoresheet - Michael, Jermaine Jenas and Edgar Davids have managed it already.

"Teemu's been taking a bit of banter to be fair!" smiled Michael. "I was delighted to score and he was left, so it was great for him. Hopefully we'll all score a few more."