SA’s Essay: Big Sam on beating the Mags

Malcolm Dawson writes….a solitary magpie landed on the roof of the bungalow next to where Pete Six(in a row)smith and I parked up before today’s game. “One for sorrow” I thought and that’s exactly what Steve McClaren sounded full of in his post match interview. Unlike Big Sam whose boys gave us something to shout about today and a win that will keep the black and whites in this part of County Durham quiet for another few months at least. No keeping us quiet though, as the man in charge is quick to point out. Let’s hope it’s the first of many post match celebratory e-mails from the big man. We are not out of the woods yet but what a way to kick start our season. Ha’way the Lads!

Jake: Big Sam - struggling to be heard!
Jake: Big Sam – struggling to be heard!

Dear Colin,

After last week where we didn’t get the rub of the green and a few decisions went against us, this week we’ve had a number which went in our favour.

The sending off was a big decision in the game and we took advantage of playing against 10 men. It’s a great confidence boost for the players, scoring three goals against their rivals and keeping a clean sheet for the first time. It’s also a great relief for the players to get their first win of the season and for me as a new manager. I was wanting to win so badly today and getting the result we have is very important for us.

We were pegged back early in the game and you expect teams to come and do that but we dug in and kept going. We didn’t allow Newcastle any clear-cut chances when they were dominating and then when we broke out Jermain Defoe was the difference; his pass and his run in the build-up was what led to the penalty.

That’s what we need to see more of. I was fully expecting Steven Fletcher, had he not been felled, to have buried that shot. He’s been playing well and scoring goals on international duty and I was pleased for him when he went on and got his goal and scored our third of the game.

I’ve not had long to work with the players but hopefully this is the start of a run where we start picking up more points and climbing up the table.

I enjoyed the game today. Sometimes against 10 men it can be difficult but the players did well and I thought Costel Pantilimon was great. When he was needed he was there and kept us in the game.

I had trouble talking to Paul Bracewell during the game because the fans in the stadium were that loud; that sort of noise is unbelievable! Everyone was pulling in the right direction and the fans got right behind the players – it was great.

Thanks for your support,

Sam Allardyce

Jake: 'six-in-a-row bliss'
Jake: ‘six-in-a-row bliss’

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