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Newcastle 3 Rovers 0


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I was quite pleased with the line-up today. Unlike our resident tactical genius Tashor I thought playing 4-4-2 and taking the game to the confidence-shy Geordies was exactly what we should do and I was looking forward to a cracking game. Surely if there was ever a game where we'd be up for it this was the one.

How wrong I was. We were simply pathetic.

We were second to every 50-50, we let the Newcastle players have yards of space every time they were in possession, and we failed to do the most basic of defensive duties.

Newcastle scored from the first corner of the match. A ball was swung over and Flitcroft headed it into the back of his own net. God knows why.

There was space all over the pitch. No-one in a blue & white shirt could be arsed to close down and Newcastle carved through us at will. A through ball found Bellamy challenging the hapless Neill and Short down their left flank. He was allowed time and space to pick out a great cross and Shearer did what he does best.

It could have been any score by half-time. The only chance we created was when the lively Stead turned and hit a looping shot onto the top of the crossbar. It deserved better. Sadly the rest of the team's efforts didn't.

The second half was a non-event. Newcastle went through the motions and we looked disinterested. Newcastle wrapped the game up near the end when a bit of a scramble led to O'Brien squeezing the ball home underneath Friedel.

Where do I start? Neill was utterly inept. Pathetic. Short and Matteo looked like they'd never met before. Flitcroft was anonymous. Ferguson was a show-pony - all nice touches but sweet fa substance. Pedersen is starting to look like a joke. Seriously, a pub player could have made more of an impact today. Emerton looked lively at times but he neglected his defensive duties. Dickov worked hard but produced no quality at all. Only Stead looked genuine class - his efforts deserved better.

We were abysmal today. I was sure we'd be up for it beforehand. How could we not be? Sadly, we were simply pathetic. No heart, no fight, no passion, no pride in the shirt. Our players aren't good enough to take the game to a team like Newcastle away from home.

Thanks to Souness,our new manager has a hell of a job on his hands.

Match Report by Scotty

Newcastle: Given, Carr, O'Brien, Hughes, Elliott, Dyer (Milner 88), Jenas, Bowyer, Robert (N'Zogbia 90), Shearer, Bellamy (Ameobi 77).

Subs Not Used: Kluivert, Harper.

Booked: Bellamy, Ameobi.

Goals: Flitcroft 9 og, Shearer 16, O'Brien 83.

Blackburn: Friedel, Neill, Short, Matteo, Gray, Emerton (Bothroyd 78), Flitcroft, Ferguson, Pedersen (Douglas 45), Dickov, Stead.

Subs Not Used: Tugay, Enckelman, Johansson.

Booked: Neill.

Att: 52,015.

Ref: D Gallagher

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