Magpie Clark frustrated on Villa return

Ciaran Clark
Ciaran Clark
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Ciaran Clark has told of his frustration after Newcastle United were denied a win over Aston Villa by a late, late show at Villa Park.

An 88th-minute goal from Aaron Tshibola saw Rafa Benitez’s side held to a 1-1 draw on Saturday night.

Newcastle had led through an own goal from Tommy Elphick.

The Tynesiders had dominated the first half, but they couldn’t convert their chances.

And Roberto Di Matteo’s side – who laid seige to the visiting goal in the last 15 minutes – claimed a point thanks to Tshibola’s far-post header.

Clark, signed from Villa in the summer, felt Newcastle got “sloppy” in the second half, a sentiment echoed by Benitez in his post-match assessment of the Championship game.

“We were very disappointed, considering we conceded so late,” said the defender.

“We were under a lot of pressure in the second half. We managed to hold out. They had a lot of corners and put a lot of balls into the box, which we managed to deal with.

“It was just that one slip, and the ball was in the back of the net and it was a draw.

“Overall, it’s probably a fair result. We controlled the game first half with the tempo, but second half we got a bit sloppy.

“We’ll look at that, and hopefully we can improve on that in the games we’ve got this week.”

Clark, booed by some Villa fans on his return to the stadium, put in a commanding man-of-the-match performance alongside captain Jamaal Lascelles in the heart of Benitez’s defence.

“Obviously, I was excited to come back,” said the 26-year-old. “I had a buzz to want to do well.

“It was nice to come back and see some familiar faces and people I keep in touch with.

“But once you get here you have to concentrate on the football. I felt we did that.

“Three points would have been nice, but we’ll take a point.

“There was a lot of pressure last 20 minutes. We got a bit sloppy, and got punished for that. We’ll look at that over the next few days, and hopefully we can improve on that.”