NEWCASTLE United’s players have been told to remember the sickening feeling they felt at the final whistle at the Liberty Stadium – and use it as motivation for the rest of the season.
Alan Pardew’s side were beaten by Swansea City substitute Luke Moore’s 86th-minute goal on Saturday, but goalkeeper Rob Elliot is confident United will be stronger for the agonising 1-0 defeat..
Newcastle – who had been put under heavy pressure before the break – dominated the second half, but couldn’t put their chances away. And they were punished by Moore, who came off the bench late in the game.
Elliot and his team-mates will use their frustration to motivate them between now and the end of the season.
“The manager said ‘make sure you don’t feel like this again this season’,” Elliot said.
“We’ll be stronger going into the next games.
“We’ve got to take this defeat with us, and make sure we don’t feel like this again.
“We were much better (after the interval) and, before the goal, I thought we were looking more likely to win it.”
With the League Cup proudly on display before kick-off, Michael Laudrup’s side had started the match in the manner in which they had dissected Bradford at Wembley last weekend – the trio of Pablo Hernandez, Wayne Routledge and Nathan Dyer causing chaos once again with their pace, precision and movement.
A wonderful dribble from Hernandez, which saw him leave Mathieu Debuchy and Cabaye trailing in his wake, ended in a chance for Michu, but Swansea’s talisman headed over.
Michu was again involved as the hosts spurned a great chance in the ninth minute. The Spaniard was allowed to drift around the back from a deep free-kick and his flick past the advancing Elliot left Ashley Williams with a simple finish, but the Wales captain scuffed his effort and Steven Taylor cleared off the line.
Debuchy had a slice of fortune when the ball struck his hand after an aerial challenge with Ben Davies, but referee Craig Pawson waved away Swansea appeals.
Newcastle slowly but surely established a foothold in a game which became increasingly niggly. Ben Davies was fortunate not to be carded after a late challenge on Jonas Gutierrez and temperatures rose further as Cheik Tiote and Cabaye were booked in quick succession.
Leon Britton and Papiss Cisse then exchanged words as the half-time whistle was blown.
Pardew unwisely opted to add his voice to the disagreement as the Swansea midfielder walked past him on his way down the tunnel, although players from both sides quickly stepped in.
Swansea were clearly being troubled by Newcastle’s direct approach, but they carved the visitors open with seconds of the restart – only for Elliot to superbly deny Angel Rangel.
Newcastle spurned their two best chances of the afternoon a few minutes later as they took a hold on proceedings. Cisse wildly volleyed over the bar, before Gouffran made a hash of finishing from Sissoko’s pull-back.
Michel Vorm tipped a Cabaye shot onto his bar as Newcastle ratcheted up the pressure, and the Dutchman was again at full stretch in the 73rd minute to tip a Sissoko drive around the post.
Swansea went close when substitute Ki Sung-yueng went one-on-one with Elliot, but the keeper was again equal to the task.
However, he had little chance of keeping out the winner as Cabaye’s attempted challenge took Moore’s strike beyond him and into the corner of the net.
Swansea: Vorm, Rangel, Williams, Monk, Davies, Hernandez (Tiendalli 88), Britton (Moore 76), Routledge, de Guzman, Dyer (Ki 60), Michu. Subs not used: Tremmel, Bartley, Lamah, Shechter. Goals: Moore 85.
Newcastle: Elliot, Debuchy, Steven Taylor, Yanga-Mbiwa, Santon, Gouffran, Cabaye, Sissoko, Tiote (Ameobi 90), Gutierrez (Marveaux 90), Cisse. Subs not used: Alnwick, Anita, Perch, Haidara, Obertan. Booked: Tiote, Cabaye.
Att: 20,405 Ref: Craig Pawson (S Yorks).