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Barcelona - an experience - 13/12/2002

   Carl Cort
   Newcastle United
 Leagues & Cups:
   Champions League

Although I travelled with the squad to Barcelona, and could have played if needed, Iíve been struggling with a back problem for the last week or so. They reckon itís just one of those things, maybe brought on by the hard grounds, but itís quite uncomfortable and Iím spending hours lying on my front. I hope that, given a bit of time itíll ease up and Iíll be back soon.

It was good to get the call for Barcelona, Hotel Arts by the marina. I think there was some problem with Carl Cortís passport and at one stage it looked like he might not travel. I didnít care, I just wanted to be part of the squad. We stayed at cracking hotel in Barcelona Ė and spent a bit longer there than we had planned! The weather was incredible, it absolutely tipped it down, and after getting a first hand look at the pitch, they was no way we could have played. I must say, I was sick for the fans who missed the game, and sick for the fans who had to fork out for the extra day. It was just one of those things, no one was at fault, it was just that it was so unexpected. As it was reported, we didnít even get to find out until we arrived at the ground, although having seen the rain come tipping down all afternoon and evening, we knew it would be touch and go.

I think it was the only decision to play the game the following day, itís just a shame that we didnít get a result. I was sitting next to Kerrsy (Brian Kerr) and after the first few minutes I said to him that Barcelona were class Ė they we looking fantastic, and Marc Overmaars was looking really dangerous. But we dug in, and managed to stop Overmaars getting so much of the ball. I was made up for Shola, a great performance when everyone was thinking weíd get nothing against their defence.

Back to the Premiership tomorrow, and I'm not in the squad. The way the lads are playing weíve a good chance of getting something from the game. We played them up here recently and won 2-1, there wasnít an awful lot between the sides. Itís one of those games where anything can happen. Last year Keiron was stretchered off Ė just weeks before the World Cup, and then went on to be beaten quite heavily. Letís face it, we havenít got the best of records against Southampton, but weíve a chance to set that right.

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