Magpies boss smells team spirit

10 December 2009 07:21
Hughton was speaking after watching his side secure a 2-0 triumph which sent them seven points clear of second-placed West Brom, and, more importantly, 12 ahead of those in the play-off places in the Championship.

The unbeaten sequence matches Newcastle's best winning run since Kevin Keegan guided his star-studded crop to seven successive Premier League triumphs in 1996.

Hughton, who celebrates his 51st birthday on Friday, said: "It's wonderful, to be where we are at this moment speaks volumes for this team.

"We hope it gives us the confidence and the strength to keep getting good results.

"There are a few records that have been mentioned. The most important thing for us, though, is to keep getting results and, if we're able to keep a good gap where we are, then that's the real bonus.

"We can do all the talking, clean sheets and winning runs but, ultimately, there's only one thing that matters and that's at the end of the season."

Hughton was coy when questioned about his decision to leave Andy Carroll out of his matchday 18 days after he was released on police bail over an allegation of assault at a Newcastle night spot.

But he was clear when stressing automatic promotion is not cut and dried until it is mathematically secure.

"There isn't a game that's been an easy one for us and we know that, for as well as we've done, there will be difficult times around the corner," he said.

"There are too many good teams capable of putting good runs together for us to take things for granted."

There was little to get excited about for the first 38 minutes at the Ricoh Arena, that was until Leon Best and Michael McIndoe both hit the crossbar for the Sky Blues in a matter of seconds.

The hosts were set to go into the half-time interval deservedly on level terms until Shola Ameobi turned Leon Barnett with ease in the penalty area to hand the Magpies a crucial stoppage-time advantage.

Both sides again proved to be pretty evenly matched after the interval but Newcastle always gave the impression they could go through the gears if required and turn the screw.

Chances were more frequent as the encounter opened up and it was the Magpies who proved their quality in the final third with the game's crucial second goal.

Jose Enrique burst down the left and sent over a cross that cleared everyone and held up perfectly for Nile Ranger to convert his first professional goal from close range.

The defeat extended Coventry's winless run to 10 games and manager Chris Coleman revealed he will be given money to spend in the January transfer window.

"We need a little bit of fresh blood in certain areas," he said.

"We may lose one or two. I've said one or two may need to move on."

Coleman had mixed emotions regarding the result but felt the pain of another loss despite his side putting up a stern fight.

"I thought we were a lot better than we were on Sunday (in the 1-0 defeat at Scunthorpe) but it doesn't change the result, it's another game gone by that we haven't won," he said.

"We're in a hard position and sometimes you can't see the wood for the trees, you don't know where the next three points are coming from.

"I've got a dressing room full of disappointed players. Peterborough on Saturday is a bigger game; we can only get three points but at the moment it will feel like 20."

Source: Team_Talk