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Cunning Plan for Saints - 07/02/2002

   Newcastle United
 Leagues & Cups:
   Premier League

Beresford was on the bench that day and told his team-mates they would be in with a chance of they could keep the home side at back for the first 20 minutes.

They did not even manage two and Beresford watched in horror as Duncan Ferguson scored twice in as many minutes. Saints were all over the place that day and ended up relieved to lose only 5-0 and Beresford has repeated his warning that they cannot afford a slack start.

He said: "Newcastle are flying at the moment, they really are. I have watched them a lot and they are full of confidence and goals.

"If southampton want to get something from the game then they have to keep Newcastle quiet for the first 20 minutes. The crowd are so desperate for three points that they could put the side under pressure.

"Those fans can be a great bonus but they can also be a negative if things are not going right. I am sure Gordon Strachan will get two rows of four and try to hit them on the break.

"It is a tough one to call. Newcastle believe they can win every game right now and they don't half work hard for each other. "I have seen Arsenal play and sometimes it is as though their players are trying to show how good they are as individuals. But with Newcastle there are no big stars - even Alan Shearer.

"Lauren Robert has a touch of French arrogance about his play but they have even got him working. They all dig in for each other and right now they are on fire.

"But Southampton have shown in recent weeks they can beat anyone on their day and one thing they do know is that Newcastle will give them space.

"They play a very open game with two wingers and full-backs bombing on. But that will leave gaps for players like Marian Pahars and Kevin Davies if Saints can get some quality balls in behind the defence."

Beresford is desperately disappointed to be missing the clash between two clubs for whom he still has a huge amount of affection. After being forced to hang up his boots by a serious ankle injury he has become a television pundit for Tyne Tees - and they are sending him to Middlesbrough v Leeds.

"I'm gutted to miss it," he said. "But the thing is that they switch me between Newcastle, Middlesbrough and Sunderland.

"I did Newcastle against Bolton last week because there was a chance of them going top of the table so it would look bad if I did them two weeks in a row. It is a real shame because I can see it being a cracking game - and I can practically guarantee there will be goals."

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