Tuesday, February 22, 2011
We lost 3-1 to Fiorentina in the opening game of the competition, but I think the scoreline was probably a bit harsh on us to be honest.
Reflecting on the game now, even in the first half where we went in 2-0 down the ball was in their half more than it was in ours.
In the opening 15 minutes we played very well and nearly scored, when the keeper almost spilled Joan Edmundsson's shot into his net. Had that gone in, it could have changed the game entirely. As it was, they scored on the break and then promptly got another one.
I think in the first half, we didn't really believe in ourselves enough. In the second half, we showed a lot more enthusiasm and looked a lot more lively, and we had a lot of the ball and several chances.
Taking all that into account, it was unflattering to concede three goals and only score one. I think a draw at the very least was what we deserved, but we'll just have to go and make up for it in the next two group games.
The mood in the camp now is one of disappointment because we've been beaten; in these tournaments, it's always important to win the first game. But we didn't, and we've got to deal with that, go on and try and win the next two.
We're still positive. The other game in our group, between Club Nacional and Lecce, was a draw and that's a good result for us. Two wins and we'll go through, and that's all we're aiming for at the moment.
I played at left-back against Fiorentina and, although I consider myself a midfielder, if I get asked to play there I will. It's not a position I've played very often, but I've done it a few times and if it helps the team then I'll do it.
I was also captain for the game, which I was very glad about. It's a real source of pride to captain a massive club like Newcastle at any level and it's a great feeling to lead the team out, so I was pleased with that if not the result.
Tomorrow's a new day, though, and we'll pick ourselves up. We'll be training on the morning to get the game out of our legs, get recovered - and then we'll go again on Thursday when we play Club Nacional.