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A terrible result - 28/08/2003

A terrible result
Won't be doing any favours on Saturday
   Alan Shearer
 Leagues & Cups:
   Champions League

Last night’s result will hold deep ramifications for Newcastle United. The whole club had been set up for Champions League football and I’ll guarantee there’s a great deal of introspective thoughts and soul searching going on at St. James. For personal reasons I wasn’t able to be at the game and I haven’t seen anything of the game on TV, but what I do know is that failure to qualify will have shocked the club and thrown the financial plans out of the window.

There’s little point in commenting on the actual game, but it’s disappointing that in two hours of football we weren’t able to put the ball in the back of the net. For me, Alan Shearer needs greater support and when you look at the last five or so matches, the worrying question has to be…If there’s no Shearer, how do we score?

There’s a problem here, do the club plough on and make the best of what they have, or do they gamble make a signing to lift the club? None of us are in a position to answer that. Only the Chairman and the board are fully aware of where the club sits with debt and financial commitments. Obviously we’d all like to see a new face, or faces, but we are also all aware of the Leeds story…and there for the grace of god! You look around and see a number of loan deals that have gone and are going through, even if the club went along this route it’ll give the club the necessary boost that I feel it needs. I’d be looking to do a deal…and quickly!

The visit of Birmingham City on Saturday is now a massive game. Anything other than three points AND a decent performance will see even more pressure placed on the players. I’ve heard that the crowd were a bit touchy even in the first half of last night’s game, that doesn’t help the players! Partizan are a very good side, it wasn’t as if we were playing a second rate team. But if performances don’t improve shortly, what was once a strength at St. James may become a weakness. The players need you on Saturday and if there’s booing from the stands, you’d do worse than reminding those responsible that booing doesn’t win points or improve confidence. What we shouldn’t forget is that the players who performed so well last season are the same who are here now. There is certainly room for disappointment, but it’s far too premature for despondency.

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