Bring on Madrid!

Last updated : 14 November 2002 By Martyn Elliott

Sir Bobby

"I’m partly ecstatic and partly numb to be totally honest.

"The game had everything, and at 2-0 it looked as though winning the match wasn’t going to be a problem for us.

"But Feyenoord deserve credit for the way they came back into it, and their coach Bert van Marwijk changed the game when he made a substitution and switched from a 4-4-2 to a 4-4-2.

"Once they got the first goal it lifted the crowd, and when they equalised to make it 2-2 I thought there was only one team going to go on and win the match and that was Feyenoord.

"We were hanging on but we looked dangerous on the counter-attack and we got there in the end. After the start we had when we lost the first three games it’s a remarkable achievement to reach the next group stage of this competition.

"It is good for the prestige of the club, and also benefits us with a windfall from a financial point of view. It was a tremendous achievement and a tremendous night. It was traumatic, it was scary and at times it was blinking dangerous, but we’re through and we’ll look forward to the draw now and see who we get next.

"I haven’t had time to think about who we could get, I don’t mind as long as we don’t get three away games on the trot and lose them all!

"This wasn’t an easy group for us, but we know that we’re in with the cream of Europe in the next stage and it’s great to be in there with them."

"We had heard it was 1-1, but it was hard enough trying to keep up with our game never mind trying to follow two," he added.

"In the end Juventus have done us a favour by beating Kiev, and the players were quite naturally delighted when they got back in the dressing room and heard the score."


Alan Shearer

" It's all unbelievable.

"I cannot say that this is the greatest moment in my career but I cannot remember any better games for sheer excitement and passion.

"It really was an incredible game and I really don't think I have been involved in one quite like that before.

"And to reach the last 16 of the Champions' League is a fantastic achievement.

"After coasting at 2-0 we let them back into the game and that is so typical of Newcastle United.

"Their manager changed things round and put four men up front and we knew that the next goal was important.

"If we got it, it would have been 3-0 and the game would have been over, but we also knew if they got it, it would lift everyone on their side both on and off the pitch and that's exactly what happened.

"But we knew a draw was no good for them and that if they kept pushing forward they would leave gaps at the back, and that we would get our chance and thankfully we took it with Craig Bellamy's winner.

"To tell the truth while we knew what was happening in Kiev up to half-time, we weren't aware on the pitch throughout the second half what was going on elsewhere. They knew on the bench but all we had to do was to concentrate on getting our result right first.

"I cannot imagine how bad the dressing-room would have been had we come in having drawn 2-2 and found out that Juventus had won. It would have been pretty depressing and we would all have been devastated."


Kieron Dyer

"I really do hope we get Real Madrid in tomorrow's draw. That would fantastic.

"We have a young team and we're all on a learning curve and to play across there would be a massive step-up in our education.

"Yes it was a bit tight at the end and we did go to pieces when they played four me up front because we didn't know how to cope.

"We went for the third goal and that nearly cost us but once again we showed what a great attitude we have and a never say die spirit.

"After they equalised, when I was walking back to the centre circle I said that we were still going to win it and that's what happened.

"The gaffer has given me some stick for not scoring myself with that chance, but Craig Bellamy is a striker and I let him have it because he needs confidence in front of goal!

"Now we're looking forward to three great nights at St James's Park and I really feel that we are starting to click again.

"Don't forget we went into the Feyenoord game without Laurent Robert and Nobby Solano on the bench but these two have played their full parts in getting us this far.

"Yet if we had failed to make it last night this could have had a dramatic and probably detrimental effect on the rest of our season but instead we have everything to look forward to and it all bodes well for the future."


Craig Bellamy

"At the time I scored both of the goals, I didn't really think about their significance, but in the end they've turned out to be two of the biggest goals of my career.

"I've scored some important goals for Wales in the last few months but those two mean a lot for the club and for our future.

"I won't see a penny of the money we earn from the second phase but progressing in the Champions League means more to me than anything.

"I missed out on the matches leading up to the Feyenoord game and now I've got some massive games to look forward to.

"God willing, my knee will hold out and I'll get the opportunity to play against some really great sides. That's what kept me going out there."


Freddy Shepherd

"It was an unbelieveable match, but I’m thrilled that we’ve managed to get through into the next stage.

"It was a rollercoaster, one minute we were coasting then the next we found ourselves having to roll up our sleeves and fight.

"But at the end of the day we’ve booked our place in the last 16 of the best competition in the World, and not only put ourselves on the map in Europe but also on the World.

"Everyone knows we didn’t get off to the best of starts, and that makes this achievement even better. We needed to make a statement and we did that.

"The average age of this team was around 23 years old, and it’s great to tghink that they are going to get better. They will have learned a lot from their experiences so far in this competition, and they haven’t come of age yet so there’s certainly a bright future.

"Bobby hasn’t been too well recently as everyone knows after breaking his ribs, but I don’t think the doctor could have prescribed anything better than that for him!" added the chairman.

"He was on top form when I left him last night, and I’m delighted for him."