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Begovic praises Stoke substitutes

Goalkeeper Asmir Begovic praised Stoke City's substitutes for inspiring the late comeback win against Newcastle and sparing his blushes.

Begovic's error just after half-time gifted Papiss Cisse the chance to give Alan Pardew's side the lead, but Jonathan Walters headed a leveller with 81 minutes gone before subs Kenwyne Jones and Cameron Jerome combined for a well-worked winner.

Bosnia and Herzegovina international Begovic said: "I would like 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. After going a goal down, we really stuck together."

Neither Jerome nor Jones has started a Premier League game this season, and have the virtually fit Michael Owen breathing down their necks for places on the bench.

The duo are thought to be in the shop window when business resumes in January, but their contributions in inflicting a fourth successive defeat on Newcastle were huge.

"The guys who came off the bench really wanted to make an impact and were fantastic," Begovic said.

"When they came on, they really put us on top. The guys 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.

"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.

"We are getting the results now that our performances deserve. It's been nice to be able to push up that table and look up rather than down."

Jones replaced Crouch after the striker lost two or three teeth in a collision with Newcastle defender Fabricio Coloccini, and it is unclear whether the first-choice striker will be fit to face West Brom at the Hawthorns on Saturday.

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