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Santon: 'The Fans Were Our 11th Man'

NUFC Logo Newcastle United FC

Davide Santon hailed the derby day support from Newcastle fans, making him forget they were a man short for most of the game

By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Club Reporter


Davide Santon has praised Newcastle's derby day support, admitting the fans' backing at Sunderland made him forget their numerical disadvantage.

Midfielder Yohan Cabaye fired United into an early lead at the Stadium of Light, which was cancelled out late on by Demba Ba's unfortunate own goal.

But, in between the goals, United were forced to play for 65 minutes a man short following the straight red card issued to Cheick Tiote for a late lunge on Steven Fletcher.

However, that didn't have any effect on the Magpies' impressive performance, something which Santon believes was influenced by the vocal travelling Toon Army housed high up in the North Stand.

"The derby is a fantastic game. Not just for us, but especially for the fans," the left-back told nufc.co.uk.

"The fans were amazing, always with us. They give us energy and are always behind us when we are on the pitch.

"Even with ten men they helped us do the best we could out there and it was almost like we were playing with 11 men again. I hope they were proud of us on Sunday because we put in 100 per cent effort.

"The atmosphere for these games is unbelievable - like nothing I've experienced before.

"It was fantastic on Sunday. I loved it."

Santon revealed there was an air of disappointment in the United dressing room following the final whistle, having come within five minutes of another victory over their local rivals.

But he is determined to take the positives from the display and use them in a couple of home fixtures later this week, against Club Brugge and West Bromwich Albion.

"We were a little bit angry after the game," said the former Inter Milan star.

"Not because we are a bad team, but because we played a really good game and they scored such a lucky goal so late.

"It was disappointing for us, but we played fantastically for so long with ten men. I am so proud of my team.

"We played really well with ten men, which is normally very difficult because you have to run much more.

"But it's okay - it's one point away from home and now we are just looking to the next couple of games, in Europe and the Premier League, where we have to win."

To buy a Newcastle United shirt with Davide Santon's name and number on the back, click here