Belfast Telegraph

Guthrie pleased with ugly Newcastle

Newcastle midfielder Danny Guthrie will be happy to continue to win ugly if that helps secure a European spot.

The Magpies ended a four-game winless run in the Barclays Premier League by beating Norwich 1-0 at St James' Park on Sunday with a far from classic display. Alan Pardew's patched-up side created more than enough chances to have won the contest by half-time, but in the end just hung on to the lead Papiss Cisse's early strike had handed them.

However, after seeing both relegation-threatened Wolves and Sunderland draw on Tyneside between away defeats at Tottenham and Arsenal, Guthrie was relieved simply to have returned to winning ways. He said: "It doesn't matter how we played. We played well at Arsenal and didn't win; today we didn't play as well, but won."

He added: "The main thing is we want to get into Europe. It was an important game for us - we hadn't won for a couple of games. It was a tough game, we had to grind it out. But full credit to everyone, they worked their socks off and saw it through."

The win leaves Newcastle still in sixth place in the table, five points clear of Liverpool and only two adrift of Chelsea in fifth, although both clubs now have a game in hand on them.

It was a victory for the application and determination of Pardew's players with the manager forced into a reshuffle with key midfielder Cheick Tiote injured and specialist left-back Davide Santon struggling to get to grips with the power and pace of the Premier League.

Winger Jonas Gutierrez was asked to line up at full-back, but it was he who produced the cross from which Cisse timed his run to perfection to get in front of defender Zak Whitbread and turn the ball superbly past keeper John Ruddy.

Pardew said: "I just felt, the way Norwich play, that our full-backs would get a lot of possession, and Jonas' left foot coming from deep might be valuable.

"Obviously, it created the goal, so that was a good thing.

"[Diego] Maradona picked him at left-back for Argentina, and if it's good enough for Maradona, it's good enough for me."


From Belfast Telegraph