That's how we have to play - Schär
Written by Rory Mitchinson
Fabian Schär is hopeful the sort of performance Newcastle United produced against Manchester United on Sunday will become the norm when the Magpies return to Premier League action after the international break.
Steve Bruce’s side picked up a much-needed victory at St. James’ Park courtesy of a fine second-half strike from teenage midfielder Matty Longstaff – who was making his first appearance for Newcastle in the top flight.
Though visitors Man United were pedestrian throughout, it was a chalk and cheese display from the Magpies compared to last Sunday’s defeat at Leicester City, where they were brushed aside, 5-0, on an afternoon to forget.
And, buoyed by their first home victory of the season and free from the Premier League’s relegation zone, Schär has challenged the Magpies to pick up where they’ve left off when they return to action against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in a fortnight’s time.
“Of course Man United have quality and they will have some opportunities, but I think – over the 90 minutes – we had the bigger chances, we defended really good and at the end we scored, and that’s how we have to play,” the Swiss defender told nufc.co.uk.
“It’s the best feeling. To win games at home, especially against a big team, is a brilliant feeling. We wanted to show a reaction after our last game – a poor game – against Leicester, and I think we did it. It was really important to get some points and now we can be happier.
“It’s brilliant for our heads – the feeling (we have) for the international break. We needed this feeling for our confidence, especially at home. It’s much better to have a break now after the win.”
Youngster Longstaff – taking to the pitch alongside elder sibling Sean in midfield – was not the only member of the Magpies’ squad making a first Premier League start of the season. Neither Ciaran Clark nor DeAndre Yedlin had kicked off a top-flight fixture under Bruce, while Allan Saint-Maximin and Jetro Willems both returned to United’s starting line-up, too – the former for the first time since August.
Schär was quick to pay tribute to those who came into the side, and spoke of his delight at seeing Longstaff – the first player born in the 21st century to score for Newcastle – produce the game’s decisive moment.
“I’m really happy for him,” he said. “The last weeks, he trained very well, so I knew he would do a great job. He deserves to play and to score his first goal against a team like Man United, it is – of course – a perfect day for him.
“I think you can see how big our squad is. We have 25 players and we need everyone. Everyone has to be ready, and I think the players who came in did a fantastic job today – like all of the players. It’s always hard when you have a squad and some players are playing and some are not playing at the moment, but that’s football and everybody knows what it’s like. The most important thing is the team and we all played for the team. That’s the only way we can be successful.”
"Of course Man United have quality and they will have some opportunities, but I think – over the 90 minutes – we had the bigger chances, we defended really good and at the end we scored, and that’s how we have to play."