Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe insisted that his side did not rely on “luck” to come away with a point against AC Milan in the Uefa Champions League on Tuesday evening.
The Rossoneri dominated proceedings at the San Siro, outshooting the visitors 26 to five, but they simply could not put away their chances as the game finished scoreless.
It was very two points dropped for Milan and a crucial point gained for the Magpies in the proverbial Group of Death, in which Paris Saint-Germain defeat Borussia Dortmund 2-0 later the same night.
When asked if the draw was a fortuitous result for Newcastle, Howe responded: “Everyone’s entitled to their opinion, I didn’t think the draw was luck. We were slightly disappointed with how we played with the ball tonight but there’s a lot of different reasons for that.”
Howe denied setting his team up in a defensive manner after his players were put under the cosh for much of the contest, in which they didn’t have a shot on target until injury time.
“Our first thought wasn’t to defend deep or to protect our goal, far from it, that’s not how we set up our team,” he said. “We tried to be aggressive, we tried to get to the Milan centre-backs and goalkeeper in their build up phase.
“[We had] 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.”
Howe added: “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.”