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Opposition view

Posted on 19 April 2009  - 12:00

Alan Shearer took heart from his side's second half display - but was left asking questions about the first half as we ran out 1-0 winners at the Lane on Sunday.

Opposition view

Alan Shearer took heart from his side's second half display - but was left asking questions about the first half as we ran out 1-0 winners at the Lane on Sunday.

Our dominance in that first period was rewarded by Darren Bent's goal in the 24th minute and that proved enough for maximum points in the Barclays Premier League.

Shearer changed tactics at half-time and ended the game with the likes of Mark Viduka, Obafemi Martins and Michael Owen all on the pitch but we defended superbly again - this was our fifth-succesive clean sheet in the league at the Lane - and Newcastle were restricted to one good chance when Martins fired over.

The win leaves us just a point behind seventh-placed West Ham but defeat leaves Newcastle second-from-bottom and desperately needing points from forthcoming home matches against Pompey, Fulham and Middlesbrough.

"I've just said to them that I was very pleased with the second half but give me an explanation why there's no urgency like that from minute one," said Shearer.

"I asked them for a reaction at half-time and they gave me it.

"Effort wise I've got no complaints. You've seen the urgency, you've seen spark and belief that they can pass it around. I want to see that for 90 minutes. Then we'll have the chance of taking three points instead of one or none.

"I still believe we have got enough."