Alan Shearer’s comments to Newcastle United players following their 0:0 draw with AC Milan

Alan Shearer was happy with Newcastle United’s 0-0 draw with AC Milan in their Champions League group stage opening yesterday night.

The San Siro was the Magpies’ first trip after returning to Europe’s elite for the first time in 20 years, having been put into Group F alongside Milan, Paris Saint-Germain, and Borussia Dortmund.
They had to battle hard for their point, and they owe a special thanks to goalkeeper Nick Pope, who made nine saves on the night.

Milan attempted 25 shots to United’s six, so it’s no surprise Shearer was relieved to avoid defeat.

“Take a point all day,” said the Newcastle veteran, who was part of Sir Bobby Robson’s team that visited Milan in 2003. They worked their tails off. “Good thing Milan didn’t have anything up front.”

Newcastle head coach Eddie Howe commented after the game, “you can’t underestimate the performance and the point we get.”
“Our first thought wasn’t to defend deep or protect our goal, far from it, that’s not how we set up our team,” Howe told reporters. “We tried to be aggressive, getting to the Milan centre-backs and goalkeeper during their build-up phase.”

“Mixed success with that, I thought, we were a little bit loose in our defending in that first half – hence the number of chances Milan created but we were very good in and around our box, hence why we got the point.

“I thought the crowd were very good for Milan tonight, it was a hostile atmosphere and the players had to adjust to that which is why you can’t underestimate the performance and the point we get.

“It will look better and better as time goes on because it was a new experience for a lot of people tonight, me included. Hopefully we can grow from this into the tournament but I’ve got to praise the players defensive qualities tonight. We know we can be better with the ball but hopefully that comes.”

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