Jones proud of performance


Despite a positive performance, manager Nathan Jones was left disappointed in the manner of his side’s Carabao Cup semi-final first leg defeat at the hands of Newcastle.

After a goalless first half, Joelinton gave the visitors the lead before Saints had an immediate equaliser from Adam Armstrong ruled out for handball following a VAR review.

Hopes of late equaliser were then quashed when Duje Ćaleta-Car was dismissed after receiving a second yellow card, leaving the tie in favour of the Magpies heading into next week’s return fixture.

Commenting, the manager said: “You’ve got to be clinical at one and then really disciplined at the other. Look, we weren’t either and that’s the frustrating thing.

“These are a top side, a really, really good side in terms of everything they do – physical, big, athletic. A side we’d like to turn into in terms of everything, but I’m proud of my team, proud of the performance but just disappointed we lost the game and in the manner we did.

“We are putting in levels of performance that I’m happy with and we’ve had improvement and are going in the right direction, but we’re shooting ourselves in the foot with moments and that’s killing us. “

Having played the final 10 minutes with one man less, the Saints boss was relieved to have contained Eddie Howe’s side in the closing stages, teeing up a second leg with plenty still to play for.

“To have to go to St James’ Park and have to win by three is a tough, tough ask for anyone in world football at the minute because of the way they’re playing. To dig in and to do that, showed real character.

“We’ve got to be positive, got to play well and do everything right to win up there, but it’s a semi-final, a second leg, and we go there in good heart and we’ll be looking for the win.”