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I’m Sick! - 03/02/2002

   Ricardo Gardner
   Gary Speed
   Sir Bobby Robson
   Bolton Wanderers
   Newcastle United
   St James Park
 Leagues & Cups:
   Premier League

It was such a relief to get all three points on Saturday, I couldn’t believe it when I gave away the ball for Ricky Gardner’s opener. I remember Aaron playing the ball into me, I was sure I had more time than I did, but the next thing I know he’s taken the ball off me and then hit a great shot past Shay and into the net! I really wanted the ground to open and swallow me up. I know I put myself under a lot of pressure, but I also heard a woman shout “McClen, your F***ing useless”. She's entitled to her opinion, but it didn't make me feel any better. It was my first home game for ages and I'd been really looking forward to it, then bang, I’d let them in to score.

I think Speedo saw what I was going through, he ran over and told me to get my head up and get on with the game. A few of the other players were also trying to encourage me, it helped. As I went in at half time I was expecting a rollicking off the gaffer, in actual fact he was good to me, gave me some praise and said I done well. It was still a relief to win the game though. If that mistake had caused us to lose or even draw the game, it would have been a sickener.

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