Flood: We were due some luck

December 10, 2012

Hatem Ben Arfa is feeling the love at Newcastle United as he continues to develop in his career.

The Frenchman has become a key part of Alan Pardew's plans after his skilful performances played a key role in helping to secure fifth place in the Premier League last season.

Ben Arfa, 25, is again expected to be included in Newcastle's starting XI when they take on Fulham at Craven Cottage on Monday night.

And the former Marseille man is hoping to repay his fans who have helped him settle in a career which in the past had not been without controversy and bust-ups.


"I feel very happy in Newcastle, I feel welcome, I feel loved here," Ben Arfa said in The Independent.

"I love the city, I love the place. I love it when the fans come to meet me, or they come to see me."

Ben Arfa's time at Newcastle has not been without difficulties after suffering a sickening double leg break from a tackle by Manchester City's Nigel de Jong in 2010.

The injury came just four games into the France international's career at St James' Park following an initial loan move but he believes the recovery process helped his development.

"I think there is a reason I had that experience, maybe to learn more," he said.

"I am happy to have had that experience today but not then. I can be philosophical about it now. It is a very good thing. I have learned from the experience."

United secured their second 3-0 win against Dundee this season thanks to goals from Keith Watson, Jon Daly and Flood but the Irishman admitted the scoreline flattered them.

Watson dived to head home a 17th-minute corner against the run of play and United escaped a strong penalty claim when John Baird's cross came off the arm of Brian McLean after the defender had lost the flight of the ball.

Referee Willie Collum rubbed salt in the home side's wounds by awarding United a 71st-minute penalty after Gary Irvine caught Stuart Armstrong after the midfielder had cut the ball back.

Daly had seen a shot saved by Rab Douglas before the whistle blew but he converted from the spot-kick and the three SPL points were safe before Flood's deflected late strike.

Flood said: "It wasn't the best game we have played recently, or the most enjoyable, but the result was the most important thing.

"I think we got a few breaks but we were overdue a few breaks.

"We had two offside goals against Motherwell and Hibernian.

"We were due that, let's hope there's a bit more luck to come."

Flood described his goal as a "shank" after his weak effort from 20 yards took a major deflection then bobbled over the arm of Douglas before trundling over the line.

"To be fair I was stretching for it," he added.

"Richie Ryan wouldn't have been happy if it hadn't gone in, he wanted the ball - but I don't think Richie would have scored to be honest!

"I'll have a look at it on television and have a laugh and that will be it. It won't be sitting in the cupboard that's for sure."

Dundee manager Barry Smith was frustrated with Collum's decision to play advantage and then give the penalty after Daly had failed to convert.

Smith, whose side are six points adrift at the bottom of the SPL, added: "The major decisions have gone against us. Up to that point in the second half we were probably in control and creating chances.

"They have won the game but did they deserve to win 3-0? I don't think so."