Give Bowyer a chance

Last updated : 28 September 2003 By Martyn Elliott

Friday saw his best display since his summer arrival as, although he was still way short of his best, he finally got more involved and we saw some of the characteristics that made him such a favourite at Leeds United.

Bowyer’s poor start to his Newcastle career has parallels with Gary Speed’s own struggle to establish himself back in 1998.

Both arrived at the club following an indifferent year with their previous clubs and both looked marginalized by the decision to play them in wide midfield positions.

Speed, who was under far less pressure than Bowyer when he arrived, really came into his own when he moved into the middle. Lets hope Bowyer can do the same.

Certainly Sir Bobby is confident that a return to form for his new signing is close.

He told the Sunday Sun: "In trying to present a clean image of himself, Lee's not been as effective.

"Because of his reputation, he's trying to be perfect. He's not getting involved and he's not putting his foot in. I've seen it and I've told him so.

"He's said to me: 'I'm a bit worried what people think and say and write'. But I don't want him to be.

"I've said to him: 'Hey, never mind the new Lee Bowyer, we signed the old Lee Bowyer - and we want him back!'

"I don't want him to kick people and get yellow-carded all the time, but he has to bring a bit more aggression to his game because he's always trying to keep out of trouble.

"I want him to return to the application he used to have on the pitch and he has agreed with me.

"We haven't seen the best of him by any means. That is my message to Newcastle supporters.

"There is a lot more to come from Lee Bowyer. I promise that."