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2005.. so far! - 09/02/2005

   Laurent Robert
   Graeme Souness
   Newcastle United

Christmas was a busy time with games coming thick and fast. We trained Christmas morning and then I drove home to spend Christmas with the family and I drove down for the game on Boxing Day, away to Wycombe. The pitch was frozen and both teams wanted the game called off but the referee said it was okay to play on, so the game went ahead.  In the end we won it 1-0 which I think was a fair result.

We had only a day between games and the next game was home to Mansfield. They hadn't played on Boxing Day as their game was cancelled due to the weather and because of that I think they were a lot fresher than we were. We lost it 1-0, they scored with about 10 minutes to go.

This was the first year that I played on New Years Day. In the past I've always been injured. This meant of course I couldn't celebrate New Years Eve, I did see in the New Year but I was at home having a quiet night in. The first game of 2005 was against Rushden and Diamonds at home and we won 3-0. To be honest it could have been 6 or 7. We played pretty well and they did not have a good game.

The next game was on the 3rd January, so they really were coming thick and fast! We were away to Kidderminster, and we won 3-1. We went 1-0 up pretty early on in the game and thought it was going to stay that way. They equalised with about 5 minutes to go and I thought that would be the final result. However we played it up field a couple of times and managed to score a couple more goals in the last few minutes and it ended 3-1 to us. Both teams played well, I think we were better in the first half and Kidderminster were better in the second half, so I think they would have been pretty gutted with the final score.

We had a night game against Boston after a week or so and we lost it 2-0. We had a chance right after half time when one of our players missed an open goal, and I think that gave the other side a bit of a lift and we never really recovered.

A nil all draw with Notts County followed that, and that was a tough game as they came and played with 11 behind the ball and we really struggled to break them down.

We then played Mansfield again, the second time in only a few weeks, and this time it ended 1-1 which I think was a fair result, especially as they had been on a decent run.

Our next game was in the LDV Vans Trophy against Swindon at home and we won 2-0. We made it to the final of the LDV last season, and we always seem to well against higher placed opposition. We were the better team on the day and deserved to win. Obviously it helped being at home and there was a decent crowd too. The next round is against Bristol Rovers, and is over 2 legs. I'm fairly confident we can do well.

We then played Darlington at home and won 2-0. Our last game was a Friday night game against Swansea and it ended in a 1-1 draw, which I think was a fair reflection of the game. Our next game is against Scunthorpe, again on a Friday night. We tend to get bigger crowds on a Friday night and there are advantages as we get the weekend off! I'm heading up to Glasgow to see some friends and I hope to take in a Rangers game when I'm up there.

I think Chelsea will win the title. Arsenal's chances are over now, especially after losing to Manchester United. Manchester United definitely played better on the night.

I'll be watching England play Holland on Wednesday night. I'm not sure which way it will go, as it's hard to tell with friendlies, but hopefully they'll do well!

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