Burnley boss Sean Dyche was thrilled with Wayne Hennessey’s competitive debut for the club as he performed heroics to edge his side past Newcastle and into the third round of the Carabao Cup.
The Wales international, a summer arrival from Crystal Palace, pulled off saves from Jeff Hendrick, Dwight Gayle and Javier Manquillo during a 90 minutes which ended 0-0 at St James’ Park.
He then denied substitutes Allan Saint-Maximin and Miguel Almiron from the spot to hand Charlie Taylor the chance to win the penalty shoot-out 4-3.
Dyche said: “I thought he was excellent. His general play, his hands, getting used to the group of course as well and then two really good saves during the game – one brilliant save when he spread himself and another good save – and then two good saves in the penalty shoot-out.
“It was a really pleasing night for him and a pleasing night for us all. The safety of him and the control of him, I thought he was excellent throughout.”
Hennessey’s contribution secured a home tie with League Two Rochdale in the next round.
It was needed too after Newcastle, quarter-finalists last season, mounted a concerted second-half assault.
Dyche said: “Generally, we huffed and puffed a bit, but the desire, the mentality, the will, the basics, if you like, saw us through the 90-odd minutes, and then it was a really secure situation with the penalty-takers. They all looked confident and obviously Wayne made two great saves.”
For Magpies boss Steve Bruce, it proved a frustrating evening as an opportunity to progress – and to win a first game of the season after back-to-back Premier League defeats by West Ham and Aston Villa – slipped away.
Bruce, who made nine changes, said: “We played very well on the night, I have to say. I can’t really remember my goalkeeper having to make a save.
“If I’m being critical, we created some great chances, but didn’t take them and unfortunately for us, it’s proved costly.
“But I couldn’t fault the way we played. There were a lot of very, very good performances out there.”
The defeat means Saturday’s league clash with Southampton is already a huge game for Bruce and his players as discontent at the club’s lack of transfer activity amid the ongoing takeover saga mounts by the day.
He said: “We haven’t done a lot wrong even though we haven’t won yet. OK, we’ve gone out of the cup, but we didn’t lose tonight.
“We’ve seen a few positives. I thought we played some good stuff at times, but we didn’t get the rub of the green that you need.”
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