Press article:

I can't wait for next season - 10/05/2006

I can't wait for next season
I'll miss Alan

Nobby Solano today vowed that Newcastle United must pick up next season where they left off this term after a superb end to a rocky campaign.

United legend Alan Shearer had described his side's condition as a potential emergency back in February before Glenn Roeder came in and turned the season on its head - for the better.

A place in the InterToto Cup was richly deserved for Roeder and his troops after leading United to six wins from the final seven games of the season.

South American Solano, who is set to miss Shearer's testimonial on Thursday due to a shin injury picked up against Chelsea, was delighted to qualify for Europe but doesn't want United to leave it so late next term.

He said today: "I am already looking forward to next season. We must start much better.

It is so important to begin well because it then gives you momentum for the rest of the season.

"We need a bit of luck with injuries maybe this time around.

"Last season was unbelievable with the amount of injuries we had from the beginning of the season until the end.

"If we can get the results combined with the luck you need we can be challengers for the top four."

United finished the season without big-name players like Shearer, England star Michael Owen, Scott Parker and Solano himself after he was carried off against the Blues in the final day of the season.

Seventh place, though, was deemed a success for United in the end.

Even though they fell nine points short of Champions League football and five points from an automatic UEFA Cup place - which was the minimum target at boardroom level and in the dressing room.

Solano added: "Because of those injuries, bad luck and a bad start it was impossible to catch teams like Spurs and Arsenal, even though we had an unbelievable run."

In recent seasons, United have been renowned for a poor start to the campaign.

Last term their first win did not arrive until mid-September, at Blackburn, which was similar to 2004 when another 3-0 triumph at home to Rovers finally got their season started in the same month.

Solano said: "Hopefully we can be consistent next season because if you can do that and play well from the beginning to the end you have a chance of the top four.

"We all know it about getting off to a good start and that's our aim


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