Leon Best

By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Club Reporter


Newcastle United's character and fighting spirit came to the fore in Saturday's 2-1 victory over Blackburn Rovers in the third round of the FA Cup.

That is the opinion of striker Leon Best, who believes the Magpies had everything against them, but still managed to grind out an important win to book themselves a place in round four.

Without leading scorer Demba Ba and midfield enforcer Cheick Tiote - both away at the Africa Cup of Nations - the hosts fell behind when David Goodwillie gave Rovers a first-half lead. But after the break, brilliant goals from Hatem Ben Arfa and Jonas Gutierrez saw United triumph.

"It was a great win which shows our team spirit," Best told nufc.co.uk.

"We lost two major players this week in Demba and Cheick and then were down at half-time. But to come back and win the game just shows that our team spirit is unbelievable.

"Their keeper made some great saves, Willo hit the bar, one of their guys made a good clearance from me and Shola had a few chances when he came on.

"It looked like it was going to be one of those days. I thought we may have to settle for a replay at best, but we deserved the second one and it came in the end."

The draw for the fourth round of the competition takes place at around 5.40pm on Sunday, and Best has set his sights on a big tie and another big win for the Magpies.

"It depends who wins in the big one on Sunday (between Manchester City and Manchester United), but I would probably say Manchester United away," he said, when asked who he wants to face at the next stage.

"I've never played at Old Trafford, so that would be a good one, and hopefully we could go there and do exactly what we did to them on Wednesday night."