Griffin delighted by reputation

Last updated : 04 March 2003 By Martyn Elliott

The full back is famed for "getting stuck in" and after resurrecting his Newcastle career this season he claims he wouldn’t have it any other way.

"I've always been like that since I was 12," he explained to The Journal. "I had a very short temper and didn't stand for any nonsense. I was a midfielder then and I moved back into the defence.

"I was very similar under Lou Macari at Stoke - getting stuck in was a big part of my game and I enjoyed it.

"I enjoy tackling players - and you play to your strengths. Tackling is one of my strengths. I remember playing against David Ginola and on one occasion I didn't tackle the ball. That got as big a cheer as if Alan Shearer scored a goal!

"I was aware of that at the time. The fans do respond to someone who's committed and who will get stuck in."

Sir Bobby must be delighted to have two accomplished right backs available to chose from, but I’ve got to admit to a little bias in Griffin’s favour.

Aaron Hughes is at least as good a player as his rival, but I love to see Griffin playing because he is one of the few players in the Premiership who still tackle properly – an art that is disappointingly disappearing from our game.