ASMIR BEGOVIC had good reason to be thankful for the impact made by Stoke City’s ‘super-subs’ in the victory over Newcastle United . . . and he was quick to praise the way in which they inspired such a stunning late turnaround at the Britannia Stadium.
Begovic admitted to being relieved that Cameron Jerome set up an equaliser for Jonathan Walters before firing home the winner himself to help City claim a third successive home victory which lifted them to ninth place in the Barclays Premier League table.
The Potters had trailed to an opportunist goal from Papiss Cisse for much of the second half after the Sengegalese striker had pounced on an uncharacteristic slip by the giant Bosnian ‘keeper when he failed to hold onto a low shot from Demba Ba.
“The guys bailed me out a little bit at the end because I was very disappointed with the manner of their goal. I should have dealt with it better, but in football these things can and do happen from time to time,” said the 25-year-old.
“From a personal perspective, it is a little disappointing to have conceded a goal like that, especially having kept four consecutive clean sheets here at the Britannia Stadium prior to the game.”
He added: “It would have been nice to have made it five, but the big thing was getting that victory, and that is what we did. It’s a great result for us and it really kicks us on in the League.”
After Kenwyne Jones had replaced the injured Peter Crouch in the first half, Jerome and Michaerl Kightly were thrown later in the game as the Potters searched for an equaliser.
“The guys who came on really changed the game for us in the end, and I think we have to give them a huge amount of credit for that,” Begovic said following the encounter.
“They gave us that lift that we were looking for, and their extra energy really revitalised us and in the end I think that was the difference between us winning the game and not losing it.
“All three of them, Kenwyne, Cameron and Michael all made a huge impact, and that is exactly the response from them that the gaffer would have wanted.”
He added: “They will have been chomping at the bit to be involved, and fair play to them because they haven’t been sulking, they have worked incredibly hard in training and they have made the impact they will have wanted to in the game tonight.”