Newcastle United head coach Steve McClaren was satisfied with Sunday’s 2-2 Premier League draw with Southampton, labelling the scoreline an accurate reflection of the game.
After a bright start to their league opener, Newcastle fell behind at St James’ Park when Graziano Pelle headed home midway through the first half.
Goals either side of the interval from Papiss Cisse and debutant Georginio Wijnaldum had the home side in front, but substitute Shane Long’s header 11 minutes from time rescued a point for Southampton.
And McClaren took plenty of positives from his first competitive game in charge of the club.
“I went through every emotion,” he told BBC Sport. “I really enjoyed certain aspects and thought we were terrific.
“The first 75 minutes we played great football and could have been out of sight. Our second goal epitomised what we’re trying to do.
“We controlled the game but towards the end fatigue had set in and in the end we hung on for the point. There’s a lot of positives.
“A draw as a fair result, it would have been a travesty if we’d lost it at the end, but I saw enough there to build on and maybe enjoy a game or two instead of enduring it.”
McClaren also had words of praise for the debut performances of Chancel Mbemba and Wijnaldum, although he issued a warning to Aleksandar Mitrovic after the striker was booked for a rash challenge on Matt Targett within seconds of coming off the bench.
“Mbemba’s not trained with us, and [Fabricio] Coloccini was the same but they looked as if they’d played together forever so we’ve got to build on that,” McClaren said.
“Wijnaldum, what a terrific goal, he’s joined us late and I thought the team overall were very good.
“[Mitrovic’s foul] could easily have been a red. We were a bit fortunate with that and I think he knows he has got to be a bit smarter than that.”
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