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United play spy games

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Terry McDermott will travel to Oslo on a midweek spying mission as Glenn Roeder tries to ensure there are no gaps in his knowledge that might pose a threat to Newcastle's ambitions on the European stage this season.

 

Preparations for United's Continental campaign will begin in earnest this morning following confirmation of the club's Intertoto Cup opponents and, although Roeder has already watched Lillestrom SK in action for himself this month, the Magpies boss will leave nothing to chance.

 

The 50-year-old, who is reported to have added Miroslav Klose and Juan Pablo Angel to the shortlist of strikers he has identified as potential additions to a squad short of firepower, was not surprised to see the Norwegians secure a third-round trip to St James's Park by completing a comfortable two-legged triumph over Keflavik last night.

 

Roeder will attempt to make sure there are no surprises this weekend by dispatching McDermott to the Arasen Stadium on Wednesday to watch Uwe Rosler's side take on Odd Grenland in the Tippeligaen.

 

Given that the German has fielded weakened teams in Europe so far this summer it will be a valuable exercise for a manager who is determined to steer Newcastle into the Uefa Cup. "Lillestrom were clearly very confident of winning the tie as they left their four best players out in the first leg," said Roeder, who did not travel to the Keflavikvollur Stadium last night to see the Scandinavians complete a 4-0 aggregate victory.

 

"Those players sat in front of me in the directors' box that day but Lillestrom have got a league match at home on Wednesday and I'm pretty confident they will be back in the team.

 

"It's important that we go and have a good look at them. David Mills (United's chief scout) will go back to Norway with Terry McDermott and I will await their reports with interest."

 

Although McDermott will play a key role on the training ground this season, he will also find himself on the road on a regular basis as Roeder seeks to develop an extensive scouting network.

 

Lee Clark and Tommy Craig will also be asked to watch games, both to evaluate opponents and identify potential signings for the United boss. That Roeder will demand a detailed dossier on Lillestrom suggests he will not take Intertoto Cup success for granted this summer.

 

"We won't underestimate Lillestrom because we never underestimate any team," said a manager aware that, during Intertoto Cup incursions under Sir Bobby Robson in 2001 and Graeme Souness 12 months ago, the Magpies failed to progress to the Uefa Cup. It is a trend he is keen to buck, having admitted his summer recruitment programme could depend on the club's continuing involvement in Europe.

 

He said: "Lillestrom are a typical Norwegian team, big and strong, with powerful players who will be determined to cause us problems.

 

"That is why I brought the players back early, we have all worked hard during the time that we have been training to make sure we can handle whatever is thrown at us."

 

With such an important fixture nearing, Roeder will concentrate on matters on the training ground this week. But the search for strikers will continue apace.

 

Alan Shearer is understood to have recommended the signing of Klose to chariman Freddie Shepherd - who was in Germany last night to watch the World Cup final. Klose scored five times for Jurgen Klinsmann's team and his signature will be in demand.

 

Sources in the West Midlands have also suggested the acquisition of Angel has been discussed at St James's Park. Aston Villa remain keen to land James Milner and are rumoured to have offered Newcastle the South American as part of a player-plus-cash exchange package.

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would be indicative of our decline if we trade a promising determined youngster for a no-mark foreign Villa reject

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Guest alex
would be indicative of our decline if we trade a promising determined youngster for a no-mark foreign Villa reject

158144[/snapback]

:lol: That's what I thought when I heard about it.

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