An England international arrives and we go into 2nd - 30/01/2003

An England international arrives and we go into 2nd

Its been a big 24 hours for the club with a good, good, win at Tottenham and now the news that Jonathan Woodgate is joining us. When I came to this club I knew it was possible that wed be competing with the best in the country. Some five years later and were into the second phase of Champions League football, were second in the Premiership, and were buying big.

It was disappointing not to start last night's game, but I understand the team is playing differently away from home. I was happy with my game when I came off the bench and when we got the win and looked at the table, you cant help but get excited. Thats three games without conceding a goal and a 1-0 win is a win! We used to win them 4-2, and although Id prefer to play in the open, attacking games that end 4-2, the most important thing for the team is to get the three points and thats what we did.

Weve now got Middlesbrough on Saturday and have to make sure that we get something from the game. Theres a lot of excitement, especially with the Woodgate signing, and we have to re-focus and put in another performance like last nights. Middlesbrough had a bad result against Villa and we know that we may face a reaction to that. Well be expecting them to be ready and to give us a good test, but because were expecting it, we can plan and focus.

Ive always said that every game is hard in this league. People talk about the title and I think its very early to make suggestions like that. It can go both ways with us visiting a number of teams fighting for relegation like West Brom, Sunderland, and even Fulham. These games will definitely not be easy. Weve also playing some of the best teams in the country at St. James, Arsenal, Manchester United, and Chelsea. So whilst you can say its in our hands, you also have to know that these games will only be won if we put in our best performances all the time. To reach such a consistent level and to keep it is very, very tough. Well give it our best shot, but I think its too early to talk of the title. Let's look at the situation at the end of March, by then wed have played Arsenal, Leeds, and Chelsea and we'll be in a much better position to make a more accurate prediction.

As for the Woodgate signing, I know that hes a special player, and England international and Im sure hell help the club move forward. Im looking forward to meeting him and when hes fit, to see what he can do for the team. These are good times for Newcastle United and I want to play my part.

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