Stoke City: Begovic delighted as goal hero helps save his blushes
RELIEVED Asmir Begovic paid tribute to his team-mates after admitting he should have done better for Newcastle's goal in Stoke's 2-1 win.
The Stoke keeper has been in excellent form this season, but he was at fault on 47 minutes when he spilled a Demba Ba shot to allow Papiss Cisse to open the scoring from close range.
The goal was only the second City have conceded at home in the league this season, but it didn't matter as goals from Jon Walters and Cameron Jerome in the last nine minutes snatched the points for the Potters.
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Begovic also redeemed himself with second-half saves from Cisse and Ba to keep Stoke in the game, but he was still unhappy with his uncharacteristic error.
The keeper said: "The goal was disappointing personally. I would have liked to have done a little bit better with that, but thankfully the guys bailed me out in the end and we were able to get three points.
"We have been playing really well at home, so it would have been a shame to lose our run to that."
Stoke are now unbeaten in seven home league games, while last night's victory was their third win in succession at the Britannia Stadium.
However, their unbeaten record looked in doubt before the 67th-minute minute introduction of Michael Kightly and Cameron Jerome, for Charlie Adam and Matthew Etherington, which helped transform the game.
Jerome set up Jon Walters's equaliser and then scored a winner which was created by fellow sub Kenwyne Jones.
Begovic added: "After going a goal down we really pulled it back and stuck together. It's a great three points and really kicks us on.
"It just goes to show the spirit in the camp. The guys who came off the bench really wanted to make an impact and were fantastic.
"When they came on they really put us on top.
"They have been chomping at the bit to get their chance and they proved they want to be in the team. They weren't sulking, they were just helping us get the result.
"It shows the depth we have in the squad to be able to put subs of that quality on the pitch and change the game."
Jerome in particular will be pleased with a contribution, which furthered his case for a more regular place.
Begovic said: "Cameron has been fantastic. He has always been an impact player ever since he came here. It's nice for him to have a chance.
"He has some very tough competition with the other strikers at the club, so he has taken his chance well and hopefully he will get a few more."
The victory lifted Stoke up to ninth ahead of Saturday's game at old rivals West Brom.
Begovic isn't looking too far ahead, but said the team are delighted to be steering clear of the foot of the table.
He said: "We are getting the results now that our performances deserve. It nice to be able to push up that table and look up rather than down."