Title hopes dashed? - 20/03/2002

Newcastle failed to take the expected three points against Ipswich Town on Saturday, a result that could dash their title dreams. A rare penalty miss by Alan Shearer summed up the performance.

"The Ipswich game was very disappointing, to lose two very important points means that chasing the title has become even more difficult. It was a disorganised performance by us although we had two valid goals disallowed. Our defence wasn't as solid as it has been in recent games and did have chances to win the match - but we didn't take them!

I thought it was a bit strange when the Manager substituted me, but I respect his decision, he is only trying to do what is right for the team. Its is only fair to give other talented players a chance to make a difference and as a player, I will always respect Bobby Robson's opinion.

It's a huge game coming up again for us this weekend and I am looking forward to it. We have to rebuild our confidence. We have won at Highbury before and I see no reason why we cannot do it again especially as we have Kieron Dyer back now. He's a very talented young player and its great to have him back in the side after a difficult season for him due to injuries. We need to play as we did last time, be confident, and I want to win to put the smile back on our faces and the fans too.

I found it amazing how much support Alan Shearer had after he missed the penalty on Saturday. He was more disappointed than all of us - as you can imagine, but the support of the fans chanting "Shearer, Shearer" was amazing. He has a tremendous following.

The injury news regarding Craig Bellamy is that it looks as if he will still be out for at least another couple of weeks. But with Kieron coming back, we have to be happy. We are in 4th place in the league at the moment and we don't want to lose any more points, especially with Chelsea and Leeds now picking up points."


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