Newcastle United manager Steve McClaren enjoyed a rollercoaster first Premier League game in charge as Southampton struck late to claim a draw at St James’s Park yesterday.
McClaren’s men fell behind to Graziano Pelle’s header, but Papiss Cisse chested an equaliser and debutant Giorginio Wijnaldum nodded the Magpies in front before Shane Long levelled.
“I went through every emotion,” said the former England manager, who took over in the summer following his departure from Derby.
“We played some terrific football and could have been out of sight. In the end we hung on for the point and there were a lot of positives. It would have been a travesty if we had lost.”
Southampton assistant Erwin Koeman, deputising for injured brother Ronald, had mixed feelings after seeing winger Sadio Mane miss two good chances to claim an injury-time winner.
“It is not a bad start, but if you are professional and you get the chance to win, you have to win,” he said. “Ten minutes before the end I thought ‘OK, we are happy with a point’, but if you see the last 10 minutes then we have to be disappointed.”
Pelle’s opener was his third goal in as many games this season, following two in Europa League qualifying rounds, while Wijnaldum impressed on his first appearance since a £14m move from Dutch champions PSV Eindhoven.
Both managers agreed Alexander Mitrovic, another Newcastle summer signing, was lucky to avoid a red card seconds after coming on for a challenge on full-back Matt Targett.