Begovic 'bailed out' by Potters

  • Last Updated: November 29 2012, 16:11 GMT

Asmir Begovic was delighted Stoke succeeded in maintaining their winning run against Newcastle, even if it was not in the record-breaking fashion he had hoped.

Begovic: Not happy with his own performance
Begovic: Not happy with his own performance

Had the Potters kept a clean sheet it would have been their fifth in a row at home, equalling a club record stretching back to 1974.

Papiss Cisse broke the run with the opening goal two minutes after half-time but the Potters still picked up all three points in a 2-1 win thanks to goals in the final nine minutes from Jonathan Walters and Cameron Jerome on Wednesday night.

Begovic was unhappy with his role in Newcastle's goal after he spilled Demba Ba's shot, but the goalkeeper was more than content with a third home win in succession.

He said: "It was personally very disappointing. I would have liked to do a little bit better with that but thankfully the guys bailed me out in the end. We've been playing really well at home so it would have been a shame to lose our run to that.

"I think it was a big three points for us. The guys that came on really changed the game, gave us some extra energy. After going a goal down we really pulled it back.

"I think it's a great three points, it really kicks us on and we can be happy with the result."

Substitutions proved the key for Stoke, with Jerome setting up Walters for the equaliser and then netting the winner five minutes from time after he had been played in by another replacement, Kenwyne Jones.

Neither striker has had much playing time this season, and it was Jerome's first goal since May.

Begovic said: "The guys have been chomping at the bit to get their chance and they proved they want to be in the team. They weren't sulking or anything, they just want to help the team to get the result.

"It shows also the depth we have in the squad to be able to have subs of that quality on the pitch and to really change the game like that.

"Cameron's been fantastic. He's always been an impact player for us ever since he came here. He's got some very tough competition with the other strikers at the club and he's taken his chance well. Hopefully he'll get a few more in the next few games."

The result lifted Stoke up to ninth place in the Barclays Premier League table ahead of Saturday's trip to high-flying West Brom, and Begovic has now set his sights on helping the Potters improve their away form.

They are unbeaten at home with four wins and three draws but have not yet won away from home this season, picking up four points, all from draws.

The Bosnia international said: "It's nice to be able to look up rather than down but we've got a really tough game on Saturday, probably our toughest one of the season, so we need to be ready for that.

"We always live and die by our home form but we need to start picking up more points on the road. We've had some decent performances and, if we can keep that going, I'm sure the results will change there as well."

Potters boss Tony Pulis hailed the form of his team as particularly impressive given their tough early fixture list and the fact they have only now played the same number of home games as away ones.

He said: "Not having the balance right can really affect you so getting to 19 points with the fixtures we've had I think is a great testament to the players and everybody concerned."

The emotions were very different for Newcastle as the defeat made it four in a row in the league, their worst run of form since 2008, the season they were relegated.

Boss Alan Pardew was happy with the performance, if not the result, and labelled Monday's meeting with Wigan a must-win game. He said: "You could name a number of things that are causes for concern - the injury list, the Europa League etc - but there's no point us harping on about them, we've just got to concentrate on the next game.

"Our next game is a home game against Wigan and we're going to need to win it.

"But, even with the defeat, we'll grow in confidence from that and the belief in what we're doing and how we're going about it. We're not doing too much different to what we did last year but last year things were falling for us and this year, not so.

"But, as long as we keep showing the same commitment and the same level of enthusiasm for the game, we'll be okay."


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