Dyer backs JJ for honours

Last updated : 19 January 2003 By Martyn Elliott

Speaking after the 2-0 win over Man City, Dyer said of his colleague: "He was magnificent, he’s got an old head on young shoulders, and that was an extremely mature performance.

"He can run and sprint and tackle. He’s also got a great spring – in fact, he’s got the whole package.

"He’s not just going to be an England player, he’ll be an England captain.

"People used to talk about me when I was his age as being one of the brightest prospects in the country, but when I was 19, I was never as good as that.

"When he first came, he didn’t really go forward that much, but he’s looked at my game and taken that from me. But he’s learnt from Gary Speed as well.

"He can head and tackle just like Gary and his reading of the game is brilliant. It’s not that he’s been coached, it’s just his footballing brain."

And Dyer was also confident about this season and the future.

"We should stay in the top four. We have a strong squad and are showing that. It's just about picking up more points away," he said.

"Alex Ferguson came out and said that if Chelsea are being regarded as title rivals, then Newcastle should be considered too. Hopefully, we can prove him right and be there right until the end.

"It could be psychology on his part, putting pressure on us but we will just go about our business like we have been doing, without anyone saying too much about us.

"You never hear Newcastle being mentioned for the title. It's Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea, even Liverpool. He's probably trying to put pressure on us.

"We are such a good side and hopefully this team will stay together. We're also being linked with top youngsters such as Jonathan Woodgate.

"The chairman and the gaffer have the idea of getting the best young players in the country.

"If it carries on like this and we keep maturing and we keep progressing, we will be up there doing well, not just now, but for the next decade."