‘On the right path’ - Rio Ferdinand praises Newcastle United despite defeat at Liverpool

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The Magpies received praise from the former England star after a hardworking display at Anfield.

Former Manchester United star Rio Ferdinand praised a ‘brave’ performance from Newcastle United in their 2-1 defeat at Liverpool.

The former England defender hasn’t always found himself on the right side of Magpies supporters after making a number of controversial comments during Mike Ashley’s ownership.

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That was reflected when Ferdinand was taunted ahead of the game as he took his place in front of the United supporters to conduct his pre-match preview work as part of BT Sport’s punditry team at Anfield.

But he was full of praise for a ‘different’ Newcastle at full-time, despite Eddie Howe’s side falling to a late defeat against Jurgen Klopp’s men.

New signing Alexander Isak had given United a half-time lead with a debut goal - but it was the hosts that claimed the points thanks to an equaliser from Roberto Firmino and a 98th minute winner from young substitute Fabio Carvalho.

“What I would say about Newcastle, it’s a different Newcastle,” Ferdinand told BT Sport after the game.

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“When would we ever see Newcastle come to Anfield and really go at Liverpool.  Especially the Liverpool we’ve seen over the last three or four years.

“They came here, they were on the front foot, they were brave, they had men forward pressing them.

“The way they forced a mistake, they forced an out-of-sorts pass from one of the players in a Liverpool shirt.

“You have to give them huge credit, Eddie and his team, the way they drilled this team.

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“Before this game they were third in retrieving the ball in the opponents third, so you have to look at that and think there’s a lot of work going in there.

“The fruits of it are, yes, they haven’t got the result, but they are on the right path.”

Newcastle are back in action on Saturday afternoon when Crystal Palace visit St James Park.

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