Dúbravka hails teammates after Sheffield shut-out
A modest Martin Dúbravka hailed his Newcastle United teammates after his heroics helped the Magpies to a 2-0 win at Sheffield United on Thursday night.
The Slovakian stopper was in imperious form at Bramall Lane, producing stunning stops from Enda Stevens, Oli McBurnie and Ollie Norwood to protect United’s one-goal lead – which was given to them by Allan Saint-Maximin – until the break.
After the restart, Dúbravka denied McBurnie once more to frustrate the Blades, before Jonjo Shelvey made sure of the points with an opportunistic effort that was confirmed by VAR.
And Dúbravka was quick to praise his colleagues after recording a shut-out, insisting that the players in front of him had helped him earn the clean sheet.
“I was just trying to be focussed on every situation, and obviously I was trying to keep our players focussed as well because we needed to be compact, as we were today. I have to say that the players played amazing – they did everything right,” he told nufc.co.uk.
“I’m glad I could play with them. We played as a team today – it was a great effort. It took so much energy from all of us, so we need to recover now, take some rest, as Sunday is another crucial game.
“To be honest, in every game, you have something to do. But this game (there) were a lot of saves, a lot to do, and I’m glad we kept a clean sheet as well because it’s important for confidence. I always say that the team deserve it first, because they helped me a lot, especially when there are so many crosses.”
On Shelvey’s controversial second, Dúbravka added: “I’m glad Jonjo didn’t stop the run – he’s a clever guy. Even if the (assistant) referee was putting the flag up, he kept running and scored the goal. I’m glad he has enough confidence and enough experience to do that, because some people might have stopped to see what was going to happen. I’m really glad he scored the goal.”
The hosts, who were unbeaten in seven Premier League games, had 73 per cent of possession and made a string of chances, but Steve Bruce’s side turned in a disciplined, committed display to keep them at bay.
And Dúbravka feels the three points could prove vital, as they look to make it three games without defeat with the visit of Southampton to St. James’ Park on Sunday.
“In the end, we won the game, and sometimes it’s like that,” he said. “These are probably going to be very important points for us. They are a good side – I have to say that. They are trying to keep the ball and they did this really well. We didn’t have that much possession, but we were clinical. We scored nice goals, and were happy.
“I felt like we took the confidence from the Manchester City game. After that game we felt like we have enough confidence to try to win here as well. You need to collect some points, especially when you’re playing the teams around yourself. I’m really, really happy we won today.”
"I have to say that the players played amazing – they did everything right."