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Slade and Souness Have Their Say

By: Bill Osborne
Date: 27/10/2005

Russell Slade praised the lads on their performance against Newcastle saying; "I'm very proud of my players in terms of their work ethic and application and I thought we weathered the first 25 minutes very well."

"It was taking the shape of the last tie against Spurs, it was a tight affair and we were waiting for our one window of opportunity to come along."

Slade said that he would not comment on the Whittle incident until he had seen the video. "Certainly if anything did go on it's out of character for my centre-half who has an exquisite record at the level he has played at."

"Alan Shearer is a very competitive player and always has been, and so is my centre-half. So on such occasions particularly in cup ties you can sometimes get a very bruising battle and that's what it appeared to be."

Grame Souness did not hold back. "That is most definitely a case of a job well done. The team we had out there did very well. It was a battling performance, which we knew we would need before the game. We were missing a lot of quality players that make a difference for us."

"I never felt we were under any real pressure, although once we went in front we gave away a lot of silly free kicks around the half way line which allowed them to pump high balls up to their giant centre half."

"This was always going to be a difficult one for us, but we handled it very well."

Souness was disappointed that a high challenge from home skipper Justin Whittle went unpunished, with his number nine needing stitches in a mouth wound, but was pleased with the way Shearer responded.

"Alan was the recipient of an extremely dangerous challenge, it was a challenge that could have done him real damage and I felt it was a sending off offence," he added.

"I've certainly seen players get sent off for less than that. But he responded in the right way, and it was fitting that he should get the winner."

On Town's style of play Souness said; "That is why they have done so well in their league and why they did so well against Tottenham."

"It is every manager's and every team's right to play as they see fit and I would never complain about their style."


Should Justin Whittle be charged by the FA for the elbow incident or was it tit for tat?

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