Hughton hails defensive effort

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Chris Hughton praised Newcastle's new-found resilience after seeing his 10 men scrap their way to a vital victory over Watford.

Goals from Peter Lovenkrands and substitute Fabrice Pancrate secured a sixth successive win, for the first time since 1996, despite the Magpies playing the final 41 minutes without midfielder Kevin Nolan who was dismissed for a second bookable offence. But goalkeeper Steve Harper and his defenders stood firm to claim an 11th clean sheet of the season.

``If I look at what we have managed to achieve so far this season, we are always very keen to point that one out," said Hughton. ``There will be bad times to come, I am sure, but we have shown a lot of resilience and that is the mark of any side which is doing well, that resilience resulting in clean sheets."

He added: ``I am absolutely delighted with that.

``What we do know is we are going to have good days and bad days, and what we have so far shown is a resilience to cope with the bad days and, at times, get something from them.

``There are times when you can't speak highly enough of the group of lads you have, and that applies.''

Hornets boss Malky Mackay said: ``That's being clinical and, at times, that's maybe the difference.

``Their guy gets a chance with a couple of minutes to go and puts the ball in the top corner.

``But that's where we are at and that's the group we have got.''

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Kevin Nolan
Steve Harper
Newcastle United
Malky Mackay
Peter Lovenkrands

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