Stoke City left-back Erik Pieters said it was a “good point” at Newcastle United on Saturday – but not a good game.
Pieters returned from a one-game suspension served in the midweek Capital One Cup win over Chelsea to help Stoke to a 0-0 draw at St James’ Park and their third successive clean sheet away from home.
The Dutchman told The Sentinel: “I don’t think it was a good game. There were ups and downs and we didn’t really have as much as control as we wanted in terms of keeping the ball.
“But at the end it’s a good point. They had a few chances, we had a few chances and we can be happy with a draw.
“It’s not easy for Newcastle to be at the bottom of the league and they are trying to win every game. They work hard and they have some good players – I know a few of their team. It’s always difficult a place to visit so in the end we’re ok with a draw.”
Having missed the win over Chelsea, Pieters is looking forward to the opportunity of playing in the quarter-final against Sheffield Wednesday, but first his focus is on next weekend’s rematch against the Blues in the Premier League.
He said: “I was frustrated not to be playing last Tuesday. But I’m part of the team, how they develop, how they play their game. When it went to 1-1 it’s always difficult to stop Chelsea’s momentum, especially with 10 men. They did really well and I’m really pleased to be in the quarter-finals.
“The tie against Sheffield Wednesday is a good draw but they won against Arsenal, it’s not going to be an easy game. We have to be focused … but it’s not the next game, that’s next weekend against Chelsea again.
“I’m looking forward to every game to be honest but these games are really nice to play in.”
Like Pieters, Stoke boss Mark Hughes was happy with the point if not the performance in the North East.
“The overriding feeling with the result is frustration, we had a lot of the play in terms of good possession,” Hughes told Sky Sports.
“We didn’t make the best use of the ball, particularly in the first half, where we had good possession around Newcastle’s box. There were very few shots taken and we needed to test the ‘keeper more than we did.
“In the second half once again we shifted the ball around the pitch well enough and we had a couple of half chances where things could have gone better, and their ‘keeper made a brilliant save to deny [Jon] Walters’ header.
“You know as an away side the home side will come and have some pressure, so we had to withstand that and during that period we’re thankful to Jack who made some really good saves to keep parity.
“There were situations there where we felt we could have capitalised more on.”
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