Sergio Aguero, for once, wasn’t on the scoresheet.
And Victor Fernandez, Aguero’s Argentinian countryman, felt there were many positives to take from Newcastle United’s 2-1 defeat to Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.
The club, however, is in the relegation zone ahead of the September 15 home game against Arsenal.
Newcastle just need a win to kick-start their season, according to Fernandez, who joined from relegated Swansea City in the summer.
“I found a really good group here,” said the 29-year-old.
“I think during the season everyone has a bad run. It happens with the big teams. Now we start our season. We make sure we keep pushing each other, play good football and win games.”
It’s nice to see everyone involved, and helping the team to be stronger. We’re ready and available for the gaffer.Federico Fernandez
Salomon Rondon and Ki Sung-yueng, also signed in the summer, also started against the Premier League champions.
“It’s nice to see everyone involved, and helping the team to be stronger,” said Fernandez.
“We’re ready and available for the gaffer.”
United fought back after going behind to a seventh-minute goal from Raheem Sterling.
DeAndre Yedlin levelled for Newcastle in the 30th minute, but Kyle Walker claimed all three points for Pep Guardiola’s side with a 30-yard strike in the second half.
“We’re disappointed not to take anything from the last two games in the league,” said Fernandez.
“We deserved more. We played well, we stayed together.
“We’re working really hard and showed great team spirit (against City). We’re close. We stayed in the game until the end and created two chances in the end.
“Considering we played at a difficult stadium against a great team, we’re happy with the work of everyone.
“When you concede early on, it’s quite difficult. We felt comfortable on the pitch. We tried not to give much space between the lines to them.
“Then, when we recovered the ball, we did quite well with the first two passes. We scored a beautiful goal.
“Their second goal was a great goal. We kept pushing. It’s difficult to stay in the game with them, but we did it quite well.”
Aguero had scored 14 goals in his 12 previous games against Newcastle, a club which has never won a league game at the Etihad Stadium.
This time, however, Aguero found his opportunities limited.
“He’s a great player,” said Fernandez, who has played for Argentina alongside Aguero.
“I know him and the ability he has from Argentina. It’s nice to play this kind of game. I’m disappointed we didn’t take anything.
“We tried to do our best to keep him outside the box. They didn’t create much, so we were happy with that.”
Fernandez – who has signed a two-year contract at St James’s Park – has started United’s last three league and cup games.
“I’m here to help everyone,” he said.
“I’m happy to play and push the guys. I think the team spirit is good. We need to carry on for the next game.”