Half time: Newcastle 0 Athletic 0
Full time: Newcastle 0
Glenn Roeder commented:
minutes might have just tested Kieron a little bit too much and tiredness
has caught him out.
"But at the moment there isn't a major
concern that, with the scan showing a very mild strain, Kieron won't be about
and playing again in three weeks.
"Because it's Kieron, you can never put
an absolute definite date on it, but we are remaining positive and the important
thing is we are keeping Kieron positive and he is keeping himself positive.
"Titus felt a sharp pain in his
hamstring, but at this moment, the physio could not give you an accurate
assessment of his condition.
"He's having it iced and it needs to
cool down overnight and we will have a look at it tomorrow, and he will probably
end up having a scan in about two days' time.
"The physio is hopeful in the way Titus
is talking to him that it will be a very, very small tear rather than something
"He hasn't got a history of hamstring
problems so there's every chance he could be out there again playing within
"Shola's chance is the best chance of
the game. You are inside the six-yard box, a free header, and it's an empty net
because the ball has beaten the goalkeeper.
"Shola is very unhappy in there because
he knows he had an opportunity to win the game.
"He's criticised for not scoring enough
goals, he's aware of that and he takes it on his broad shoulders, and he's doing
everything he can to rectify it.
"He had that one chance and
unfortunately he directed it over the bar instead of under the bar."
Alan Curbishley said:
It looked like a stalemate all along really
and I'm sure at the end of it Glenn Roeder would have taken a point.
"I don't really think anyone deserved to win it, although we looked that
little bit stronger in the last 15 minutes I felt.
"We had a few decent situations which we didn't take full advantage of, but
it would have been cruel on either side to lose.
"Our away record stands up
to scrutiny over the entire season but in recent months it has been desperate
and we needed to turn that around.
"In the last six or seven
games we've not given ourselves a chance as we've gone behind early on and been
left chasing the game.
"We were determined not to
be 1-0 down and chasing it tonight and the players are delighted at keeping a
clean sheet more than anything.
"We trained for
4-4-2 but once the Newcastle team came in we changed as we were a bit concerned
about Emre and Bowyer and us being outnumbered, so we set about stopping it.
"There are still lots of
points to play for, we aren't far off the top six or seven, and a couple of wins
can change that dramatically.
"This week was a big week
for us. We were at home to Brentford in the FA Cup and needed to get through,
and we needed to get something here.
"Then we are back at The
Valley again on Saturday. It could tell us a lot about where we are going by the
end of Saturday evening.
"By the time we play Villa
we will have had really tough couple of months.
"This game and the
Liverpool game were rearranged and we have been involved in the FA Cup.
"We need to get through
the weekend then we can give the players a little break next week to recharge
the batteries - except the ones on international duty that is - and see what the
run-in brings us."
Athletic in Toon - Recent years
NUFC v CAFC last 11:
Drew 0-0 No scorer
2004/05 Drew 1-1 Dyer
2003/04 Won 3-1 Shearer(2), Jenas
2002/03 Won 2-1 Griffin, Robert
2001/02 Won 3-0 Speed, LuaLua, Shearer
2000/01 Lost 0-1 No scorer
1998/99 Drew 0-0 No scorer
1996/97 Won 2-1 Clark, Shearer (FAC)
1992/93 Drew 2-2 Lee Kelly
1991/92 Lost 3-4 Clark, Hunt, Brock
1990/91 Lost 1-3 Brock
1988/89 Lost 0-2 No scorer
First game under the Roeder reign that we haven't won, so he was unable
to match Jack Charlton's record of starting a managerial campaign with
three league wins - still undefeated though.
This was our third
scoreless draw of the season, coming after the goalless encounter with Portsmouth at Fratton Park and
the visit of West Ham early in the season.
We moved up one
place to 13th, a point behind opponents Charlton and three points
adrift of Saturday's visitors, Everton.
Four games in
and caretaker manager Glenn Roeder is starting to experience at first
hand the frustrations of his predecessor.
Having been without Alan Shearer on Saturday, tonight saw him preparing
for the visit of Charlton in the knowledge that Kieron Dyer's comeback
had lasted just one game.
And worse was to follow when Titus Bramble limped off - a second
A measure of Roeder's lack of enthusiasm for the talents of with Chopra
or Luque could be gauged by his decision to leave Ameobi bearing the
burden alone up front, relying on support from a five man midfield
promisingly, Ameobi testing Myhre with a well-struck effort and Emre
grazing the Leazes end crossbar direct from a corner.
However our cutting edge was gradually blunted and crucially lacked
width - N'Zogbia cutting inside and Ramage once again trying to patrol
the whole of the right flank.
For the third consecutive game Jean-Alain Boumsong found himself
in front of goal, but after heading into the ground and over the bar at
Villa and striking the woodwork against Southampton, this time he could
only direct his header from a Solano free kick straight at the 'keeper.
However the much-maligned Rennie and his linesman were right to call
Ameobi offside just before the break, as the striker found the net with
a close-range shot which was chalked off.
Things took a turn for the worse ten minutes into the second half when
Titus Bramble pulled up sharply in his own box, limping off with what
was later diagnosed as a hamstring strain.
The lack of defensive cover that had seen us unable to name a sub for
that position meant we had to improvise, Elliott partnering Boumsong and
N'Zogbia dropping back to left back.
The reshuffle saw Luque appear, but once again he was unable to
contribute anything of note as our passing became looser and frustration
started to set in.
We did still threaten the Charlton goal on occasion, with Ameobi
unsuccessfully appealing for a penalty after being tackled by Perry.
And it was Shola who missed our best chance of the night when he headed
Emre's corner over the bar from close range with a quarter of an hour to
At that point it seemed that a goal would never come, but the visitors
started to get one or two attacking ideas of their own in the closing
stages, leading to some timely interventions from Boumsong and Ramage.
In the final analysis, neither side deserved to win this game. And while
both managers put a brave face on things, Curbishley doubtless left the
happier after what was a rare clean sheet and point away from the Valley
for his side.
For Roeder though there was satisfaction in having coaxed another
whole-hearted performance from his side, which while hardly setting the
SJP crowd alight at least didn't incur their displeasure too much.
However after the comparative riches of the last three games, this was a
strong dose of reality for the black and whites. Had Graeme Souness been
watching, he'd have doubtless have muttered something along the lines of
"I told you so."
With Shearer and Chopra both heading out of Toon in three months time,
the future of Owen up in the air and Luque just not featuring on the
Radar, then Ameobi seems by default to be the heir apparent to the
number nine's legacy.
Unfortunately it's nights like this that provide a reminder of the fact
that while there's no lack of effort (and he's still not 100% fit) from
the 24 year-old, he lacks a genuine goalscoring instinct.