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Laurent Robert Interview 26

Taken from his own official (French Language) website 24.12.01


You've just come through an incredible week with Newcastle by beating both
Arsenal (3-1) and Leeds (4-3) away. Six points from six against two possible
title contenders, it has been beyond expectation.

It's true that after we beat Arsenal I said that it would be a good result
for us if we took back a point from Leeds. It turned out that we took back
all three after a crazy game, and we end up at the top of the table. It's
been a royal week for us. Now we must make sure that we don't go to sleep, we
should do the opposite. We play Middlesbrough at home on Wednesday, and we
really must take three points from this game. I was in training this
morning, and the lads are well aware that we have a lot to do, and that we
must continue playing like that.

Saturday, at Leeds, Bellamy opened the scoring for you, and a minute later
Bowyer equalised. If we look at the first 45 minutes the scoreline could
have been worse than it was against you.

It's true that they didn't take their chances, where as we put our chances
away. In fact, with Sylvain Distin coming back, it helped us a lot and he
played well with his speed and strength, he made a lot of important tackles
at the back.

With a half an hour to go you were trailing 3-1. Honestly did you believe
that you were still in the game?

Of course, we always believed it. we played as well as they did in the
second half, even though we conceded a further two goals we still bought the
score level, which gave us the initiative to go on and push for the winner,
and it worked.

How was the atmosphere in the changing room after the game?

As usual, we were all very calm. We were happy, but we didn't go mad. We
listened to the other results and waited patiently for the Arsenal-Liverpool
result which took place yesterday.

Now that you are at the top of the table, there must be an added motivation
in the heart of that group.

It's true but....In France they don't talk about us. In the newspapers it's
Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester but us, we don't even exist, I find that
incredible. We're top of the table with three point ahead of Arsenal and
Liverpool, four points ahead of Leeds and six ahead of Manchester. and a
paper like "L'equipe", don't even write a single line about us. It's

You came off with a quarter of an hour left of the game, do you still have a
hip problem?

It's getting better now, but I still get a little pain. It wont stop me from
facing Middlesbrough on Wednesday any how. Sylvain Distin will also play in
place of the injured Dabizas.

Nicolas Anelka is back in the Premiership with Liverpool, what do you think
of his choice?

It wasn't going well at all for him at PSG, he didn't have a choice, he had
to leave. I hope that things go his way now, he's a great striker, he'll be
playing in a league which he knows very well, and he'll be scoring goals.
He's a striker, and for him to feel good about his position he must score
goals, he doesn't have a choice.

You played along side him for a year at PSG, what prevented him from

Confidence. I'm not sure if everything was done to make him feel good. They
should have shown more appreciation toward him and let him know how much he
was needed, and the style of play there did not suit him. He's an adorable
bloke we had a right laugh together, but he did lack self confidence. I'll
talk to you on Thursday Happy Christmas

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Page last updated 24 June, 2009