Eddie Howe feels the hard-fought level with which Newcastle emerged from their journey to AC Milan may serve them properly as their Champions League marketing campaign continues.
The Magpies, who wanted goalkeeper Nick Pope to make 5 first-half saves to make sure they got here away from San Siro with a 0-0 draw, managed to frustrate the hosts for lengthy durations and open their Group F account on their return to European soccer’s high desk after an absence of twenty years.
Head coach Howe stated: “I believed the group have been excellent for Milan tonight. It was a hostile ambiance for us, the gamers needed to alter to that and that’s why I don’t assume you’ll be able to underestimate the efficiency and the purpose that we get.
“I feel it’ll look higher and higher as time goes on as a result of it’s a brand new expertise for lots of people – me included – tonight and hopefully we will develop from this into the event.
“Once more, I’ll reward the gamers for the defensive qualities that they confirmed immediately. We all know we will do higher with the ball, however hopefully that can come.”
Pope’s heroics supplied the inspiration on an evening when he needed to be at his greatest to maintain the Rossoneri at bay three days after protecting a clear sheet in a Premier League victory over Brentford.
Howe stated: “I believed he was excellent immediately. He was wonderful towards Brentford – though he didn’t have so much to do – and his all-round sport was at his highest stage.
“It’s no coincidence, two massive shows and two clear sheets from him which is completely essential to us. He was an enormous a part of our success final yr and little doubt he’ll be the identical this yr.”
Newcastle would possibly even have snatched victory on the loss of life when midfielder Sean Longstaff compelled an important save from substitute keeper Marco Sportiello deep into stoppage time, and Howe was not countenancing strategies his facet had been lucky.
He stated: “Everybody’s entitled to their opinion. I didn’t assume the draw was luck. We have been barely disenchanted with how we performed with the ball tonight, however there are lots of totally different causes for that.”
Nevertheless, for all that the guests defended with spectacular resilience, significantly within the second half once they restricted Milan to few clear-cut alternatives, they’d already been let off the hook when Portugal worldwide Rafael Leao had danced by the black and white shirts and with solely Pope to beat, tried to back-heel a shot previous him and easily fell over.
Rossoneri boss Stefano Pioli stated: “Rafa Leao is much-appreciated by each soccer lover as a result of he tries not possible issues. He offers it a strive. These are not possible issues for the remainder of the gamers.
“Alternatively, he tries to get that ‘Wow!’ impact, and typically he achieves it. If I had been there in entrance of the objective, I’d have shot and possibly I’d have missed the objective.
“I’m sorry for my gamers as a result of they’ve given their utmost and perhaps extra. It was a really intense sport. We have been drained as a result of we ran a lot. I’m sorry for our followers as a result of they supported us all through the entire sport, and I’m sorry about not successful the primary sport within the group part as a result of this will probably be a really powerful one.
“We needed to win, however we couldn’t, so we’re not joyful concerning the end result.”