FK Ventspils (Latvia) (a) UEFA Cup Second Qualifying Round 1st Leg
Half time: Ventspils 0 Newcastle 0
71 mins Emre swung over
the perfect corner from the left and Titus Bramble's bullet header left 'keeper
Andris Vanins with no chance.
Unperturbed by the competing attraction of Bananarama's "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye" over the Stadium PA, Glenn Roeder said:
"We must make sure that the players are not too relaxed, that they don't think they can take it easy in the second leg because, as we have seen tonight, Ventspils have some good attacking players.
"We must make sure we are just as motivated for the game at St James's Park as we were for this one. I have to say that the quality Ventspils showed during the match was excellent and they are to be congratulated.
"We're pleased to take a lead away from here with us. We kept a clean sheet which was important and we scored an away goal which is always useful in Europe. It goes without saying, it's stating the obvious, that I'm pleased to come away from here with a win.
"We prepared for this match as we would prepare for a Premiership match against Chelsea or Manchester United. We gave them respect and they deserved it.
pleased we have got through it but we know the Premiership season is
starting in a week.
"Titus has chipped in with a few goals over the last few months, no more important than the one against Chelsea on the last day of last season that got us into Europe in the first place. Now he has scored another vital goal that, without doubt, gives us a big advantage in the return leg.
"They asked questions of both Titus and Craig but overall I thought they dealt with them very well.
The things I am trying to stress to him are the quality of his passing and his concentration. They are parts of his game I am forever talking to him about and trying to make sure he concentrates for the full 90 minutes.
doubt he is a player who needs to know he has the support of us all to go
out and play well. But the goal he scored was a tremendous header, he
angled it away from the keeper and gave him no chance whatsoever.
"Going into four competitions we know we need to add numbers and quality to the squad.
day we are getting closer. I know it seems an awful long way but we are
getting closer to making two or three signings.
"Every day we are getting closer to making some signings.
"We know we have got to add numbers to the squad and I want players I can start with to create competition for places.
"There is no better motivation for a player than knowing his place is under threat.
"It is not going to be easy to get a player of (Obafemi) Martins' quality to St James' Park but I do like him and I do not mind saying that.
"He is a player I admire and we are looking at his situation at Inter very closely.
we do not have any information we can give out now to our fans about that
player or any other player we are potentially close to signing."
"Emre had a slight knock and I was not prepared to take any chances with any of our senior players with the Barclays Premiership season so close.
"The tunnel was near the dugout and he had to get to the dressing room for ice. He was just using his experience because if he had come to the dugout first I would have told him to get to the dressing room and get some ice on his injury."
On Boumsong's non-selection:
"It is possible Boumsong will be leaving on a 12-month loan and it would have been foolish to cup-tie him."
Roman Grigorchuk said:
....nothing that we could interpret.
An odd evening all round - and in keeping with
the neutral venue, a game that seldom got into gear.
Vague hopes of punting Luque in the next few
weeks meant that he remained on the bench, but the Catch 22 situation of selling
him before reinforcements are acquired means that the Spaniard remains in limbo.
Given the averageness of the
opposition, there seems little chance of a repeat of 2003's second leg home misadventure against Partizan
Belgrade; but scraping past a side labelled as non-league standard by our own
scouting team is hardly the stuff of legend.