It's just not clicking - 04/12/2003
Itís probably fair to say that last season we exceeded expectations, and that this season itís been quite the opposite. The obvious question to ask is why? And to be honest, I really donít know. We havenít done anything differently this season, we train the same way, we play the same way, and itís not as if weíve been cut down with injuries.
As for my position, I sat on the bench throughout the 120 minutes of last nightís Carling Cup defeat. Iíve figured in the last few squads, although havenít seen much action on the pitch. Joseph Yobo is out at the moment and is also due to miss six weeks of the season when he plays in the African Nations tournament. David Weir has also been out with a knee problem, so I'm close to first team action. However David Moyes is shuffling the pack and for example, played David Unsworth as a centre-back last night. Itís a case of a waiting game Ė it takes patience Ė but as a professional I have to accept the situation. All I can do train hard and do my best when given the opportunity.The defence held firm last night, and credit to them. Middlesbrough started with Maccarone and Nemeth, then brought on Ricketts ten minutes before the end of normal time. We were comfortable throughout, and as with all penalty shoot-outs Ė itís a bit of a lottery and on this occasion we lost out. Wayne was substituted again, and I have to say that the media attention has been unfair. Itís a well known and accepted fact that young players will always have a degree of inconsistency in their performance. You donít get much younger that Wayne and some of things that have been said are unfair. He hasnít been among the goals but his all round play has been good. Letís face it, the team hasnít been playing as well as last season Ė itís obvious that all strikers benefit from playing in a successful side Ė how many goals have our other strikers scored this season? Itís just an good example of the Ďbuild them up, then knock them downí policy of much of the British press. But heíll come good - heís a quality player.
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