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Geordie Boyo

No if's or Butt's, he's staying!

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from http://icnewcastle.icnetwork.co.uk/newcast...-name_page.html

 

Ready to defy critics

Aug 1 2006

By Paul Gilder, The Journal

 

United manager Glenn Roeder has warned Nicky Butt's critics that they will never drive him out of St James's Park after backing the troubled midfielder to win over the Newcastle supporters.

 

The former England international endured a fraught return to action in the North-East at the weekend when, during his first appearance on Tyneside in 15 months, he was barracked by a significant section of United fans.

 

It seems that a player who spent last term on loan at Birmingham has yet to live down his disastrous debut campaign for the club, a season that culminated in his insensitive response to a humiliating FA Cup semi-final defeat at the Millennium Stadium.

 

But while some of those who were at St James's Park for Saturday's pre-season meeting with PSV Eindhoven demonstrated their discontent with the 31-year-old, Roeder is unconcerned by the prospect of a Gallowgate backlash.

 

"I would say our supporters are a forgiving crowd," said a manager who, with Amdy Faye bound for Charlton, has told Butt that he will be given the chance to repair his shattered reputation in a black and white shirt this season.

 

 

"There were a few boos when he first came on but Nicky got in some good tackles and the crowd even enjoyed the fouls he gave away because they could see his commitment. Nicky doesn't know any other way to play and he will be strong enough to come through this - a small section of the crowd booing him."

 

 

Arguably a questionable signing from Manchester United two years ago, Butt did little to distinguish himself during his maiden campaign in the North-East. And his refusal to acknowledge the Newcastle supporters as he fled the pitch in the aftermath of a 4-1 humbling at the hands of his former club in Cardiff saw his popularity plunge to a new low.

 

 

Had Birmingham not been relegated from the Premiership last season, the former Old Trafford favourite would never have returned to Tyneside. That the terms of a permanent transfer were overridden by City's demise have left Roeder with a considerable conundrum.

 

 

The deterioration of the player's reputation, coupled with his lucrative contract at St James's Park, means United's hopes of removing him from the wage bill have always been limited. Butt is tied to the club for another two years, and his manager must find some use for him.

 

 

He has yet to start a first-team game this summer and has captain Scott Parker, Emre and Charles N'Zogbia blocking his path.

 

 

But Roeder has insisted he will give Butt every chance to force his way into his Premiership plans after insisting that he is a great admirer of his talents.

 

 

"Nicky knows that he will have every chance of picking up his career here," added the Newcastle boss.

 

 

"I have told all the players that if they play well enough, they will get the shirt. Once they have got their hands on it, it's up to them to keep it.

 

 

"Nicky has played for one of the biggest clubs in the world in Manchester United and he has a drawer full of medals and caps for England. There is no doubt that he is a strong character."

 

 

With Lee Bowyer having departed for West Ham, and Faye set to follow as soon as Charlton can thrash out a deal with the Magpies, Butt will provide cover for Parker and Emre.

 

 

Yet whether Freddie Shepherd will be prepared to invest so much in a back-up player remains to be seen.

 

 

And the unfavourable reaction of the supporters to the midfielder could prompt a fresh attempt to find him alternative employment.

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Had a good game against Norwich tbh, don't like the bloke, but don't write him off.

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