Newcastle United manager Chris Hughton has admitted that his side’s 2-1 loss to Blackburn Rovers was ‘very disappointing’.
An early Morten Gamst Pedersen strike and a Jason Roberts goal 8 minutes from the end were enough to consign Newcastle defeat, and Hughton admitted his disappointed at his side’s inconsistency.
“[It was] Very disappointing. More the fact that we’re on a good run and want to keep it going. It was an opportunity at home to pick up valuable points,” he told reporters.
“We couldn’t have done anymore in the second half to get the win. We’ve conceded two very poor goals today and we’ve got to pick these players up for a very big game on Saturday.”
The Newcastle boss also refused to criticise Cheik Tiote, after a mistake from the Ivorian led to Blackburn’s opening goal.
“He has been excellent for us. I don’t have to sit here and explain the goal, he’s been caught in possession, it’s been uncharacteristic for Tiote. He’ll be aware and will certainly learn from it.”
Hughton did though praise striker Andy Caroll, who has been touted for a possible call up to Fabio Capello’s next England squad for the friendly with France.
“He’s a player playing with a lot of confidence at the moment, he’s certainly improving in mobility, working in areas of the pitch. Another typical goal from Andy.”
The Newcastle boss also aired his frustration at the result and his side’s inconsistency throughout the season, admitting that it was something they need to work on.
“I think frustrated is the word that comes to mind. Overall is it a game we deserved to lose? No, it probably wasn’t.
“Sam played five at the back, four in midfielder and one up front to make life difficult for us. You’ve got to be good enough in possession and the game hinged on no the opportunities they created, but our own downfall.
“On inconsistency this season - That’s frustrating, something we have to address. We knew it would be a difficult season for us. On the back of three very good performances, three very good results, it’s a result that is disappointing.”
Joey Barton could have seen red for a push on Pedersen but Hughton played down the incident, insisting that it was a ‘physical’ contest.
“Somebody has mentioned it, I haven’t seen it. At this moment I haven’t seen it. At the time I knew the lad Pedersen had come off the pitch. The type of game that it was, it was a physical game.”
Hughton did however reserve praise for Blackburn’s display, citing their good defensive play for his side’s failure to create more attacking opportunities.
“It was 5-4-1. What Blackburn have done is go with that formation and come away with three points. I can speak about the qualities we showed to win the game. They defended very well, they defended in numbers. We didn’t quite have that quality in the final third to break them down.
“I think it’s about trying to get a level of consistency, we knew it would be difficult in this division because of the quality and whenever there’s been negatives, there’s also been a plus.”
Shola Ameobi seemed to pick up a knock in the first half and was replaced by Nile Ranger at the break, but Hughton failed to shed any light on the injury after the game.
“Shola, I’ll have to check. He was injured, so I pulled him off at half-time.”