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We're behind the manager...


Scottish Mag
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It may still not be enough to save him from the sack but Lee Clark is adamant Graeme Souness still has the full backing of the Newcastle dressing room despite the 1-0 home defeat to Blackburn Rovers, which sparked an angry demonstration outside St James's Park.

 

Both Clark and Souness gave their post-match thoughts to the media unable to ignore the few hundred fans who had congregated outside to call for Souness to pay the price for the club's Premiership slump with his job. With chairman Freddie Shepherd also unable to ignore the protests outside, Souness still maintained his composure, only rising once to angrily deny that he would consider quitting a job he has been in for less than 18 months.

 

"I've been in the dressing room and I haven't heard the demonstrations, but fans are entitled to their opinion," said Clark, who has urged everyone to turn their attention to the FA Cup clash with Cheltenham Town rather than dwell on Saturday's defeat.

 

"They pay good money. This football club is the be all and end all for them. As players we have to get on and do the best we can for them. We want to give them a team they can be proud of.

 

"Everyone, as far as I am concerned, everyone is right behind the manager. He is taking the heat off the players.

 

"He has been fantastic with the lads. He is taking all the pressure and the lads thoroughly appreciate that.

 

"He has a good group of young players who have had to play because of the injury situation and he is trying to protect them. It may not look like it in terms of results but we are all right behind him without a shadow of a doubt."

 

The fact that he retains the support and affection of the players is one of the major factors in Souness' steadfast refusal to quit. As a result, if the board want him out they are going to have to force him out the exit door and financially compensate him for their troubles.

 

"Unity is important at any club at any given time," said Souness as the chants of `There's Only One Bobby Robson' came through an open door.

 

"I have thanked the players for their efforts. In terms of that, we can't fault them. With the team we had out there, we can only ask for effort and we got that.

 

"It is simple. The parity in my life is my family. I have to do my best for my family at all times. After that, second most important, is my work and I will do my very best for whoever employs me. I will continue to do that until I am told something different. We feel we have played quite well. As a manager all you can hope for is total commitment, 100% from your players and the full support of your players. I feel I have got that."

 

The fact that the Magpies slumped to a fourth defeat in five league games because of Morten Gamst Pedersen's goal, converted with his hand, could not have helped Souness's mood. But Clark echoed his manager's declaration that Newcastle, while hardly flowing, had been the better side.

 

"It is a very disappointed dressing room and we have to pick ourselves up and dust ourselves down because we have got a huge game in the FA Cup next week," said Clark, who would have hoped to have celebrated his 250th United appearance in better circumstances. "It's a potential banana skin for us (at Cheltenham). After the results for us recently they might fancy themselves but we have got to stand up and be counted.

 

"Be prepared to fight tooth and nail for the club.

 

"We didn't deserve a 1-0 defeat (on Saturday). We deserved something from the game without a shadow of a doubt. We have been told their goal was a hand but when you are down, your luck tends not to be in.

 

"It makes it harder because we felt we deserved something better from the game. We can't feel sorry for ourselves. We have to dig deep and go into next week again.

 

"We have to work hard this week and produce the goods in a very tricky game next Saturday. The team spirit is good, considering the position we are in. If we start to mope around and feel sorry for ourselves, things are going to get a whole lot worse."

 

:(

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Lee Clark probably still can't believe that he's turning out for NUFC at St James Park, and knows that it's Souness that has given him the opportunity. I wouldn't expect him to be anything but supportive of the bloke.

 

Sounds like he might come to my demonstration though.

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Lee Clark probably still can't believe that he's turning out for NUFC at St James Park, and knows that it's Souness that has given him the opportunity.  I wouldn't expect him to be anything but supportive of the bloke.

 

Sounds like he might come to my demonstration though.

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Someone better tell him hes not allowed to bring white chocolate though..

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Imagine going into a meeting knowing you might be sacked, but that if you are it'll be another million or so quid in the bank. Talk about a no-lose situation.

 

"I'm afraid I'm going to have to sack you......on the plus side, you've basically just won the lottery."

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