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Press article:

Robert deserves chance - 09/02/2005

Former Newcastle star John Beresford has urged manager Graeme Souness to give French winger Laurent Robert the chance to prove that he can be a match-winner.

Robert repeatedly frustrated former boss Sir Bobby Robson with his fluctuating form, but he also showed that he can make a difference in games with his pace and ability to deliver the ball into the danger area.

"I know Laurent is not Graeme's type of player, but there are certain games in which he can make a difference," said Beresford.

However, Souness has been unimpressed with the 29-year-old's work-rate during his reign to date.

After introducing him as a substitute late in Saturday's 1-1 draw with Charlton, Souness pointedly remarked on his side's defensive problems down the left side thereafter.

But after seeing at first hand how the Magpies failed to break down Alan Curbishley's side with their midfield diamond formation, Beresford believes there is a role for the former Paris St Germain winger.

"For me, Newcastle have to play using the whole pitch and they played too narrow," he said.

"I think Graeme is playing that way because he feels restricted by the players he has got, but I still believe that Laurent Robert is an asset.

"I think Graeme thinks with Lee Bowyer, Jermaine Jenas and Kieron Dyer, he can give more protection to his back four, but I think Newcastle have to play with more freedom and more width."

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