Never Mind Defenders - When Will Roeder Learn?

Last updated : 16 October 2006 By Footy Mad - Editor

Sir Bobby paid the £5m for him so obviously had to prove to the chairman it was money well spent, when in the end Bramble contributed to Robson's sacking. Graeme Souness wouldn't know a good (or bad) defender if one hit him between the eyes, so perhaps he had an excuse.

But we hear today a furious Glenn Roeder has told his under-performing defenders (Bramble included) that he will not tolerate their incompetence any longer. But isn't it time to ask questions of the manager, who is still trying to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear?

Roeder: "We keep shooting ourselves in the foot and it has happened too often this season. It was unacceptable defending and it has got to stop. I am concerned and the players are concerned.

"We have had a long talk in the dressing room and they are all as disappointed about what happened as I am. We had a mad two minutes and it cost us dear.

"This is a time to stand up and be counted and show that we're mentally tough enough to come out against Fenerbahçe and keep a clean sheet.

"It was poor defending and the players have to be man enough to accept that. We will have to go back to the training ground again and work hard at these situations.

"When you are not doing the basics, it has to be a concern. Mistakes anywhere on the pitch hurt me but, when it's in defence, it's particularly painful".

Jokingly Shay Given said before the game exactly what the Toon fans knew already. On Sky Sports, when they showed a selection of outstanding saves from the Irish goalkeeper, he said: "I'n sure you had a lot to choose from. Remember I play for Newcastle, and I get a lot of practice playing behind that defence."