Reaction to the derby triumph

Last updated : 28 April 2003 By Martyn Elliott

Sir Bobby

"Craig (Bellamy) was our man of the match and our match winner as he got the penalty for Nobby to score.

"His finishing is an area of his game he needs to improve and he knows that. He is only 23 and he will get better and better.

"He was always a threat. The fact he had so many one on ones shows he is getting in behind defenders and his finishing will improve. He was a little unlucky again on Saturday as their keeper made a couple of very good saves."

Nobby Solano

"When Alan went off we knew someone would have to step up to take the chance. Losing our captain, as well as Andy, was a big blow but that is why we have a squad and it was a chance for two more players.

"I have taken the penalties when Alan has been missing before but I didn't expect to do it so soon.

"It was a huge responsibility but I was happy. How many times do you get the chance to put your side ahead in a derby?

"I stuck to my usual routine and it worked. It was a special moment for me and one that will live with me forever."

Shay Given

"The key to it all was that Flo wasn't looking at the ball but at me, and he definitely caught me with his elbow.

"He was looking to block me and, despite my big mate Mick McCarthy saying that I didn't complain, I appealed straight away and I was always confident that the referee was going to disallow it.

"I thought it was a battling performance from the players in front of me, especially as Kevin Kyle was a real handful when the ball was in the air.

"But we coped very well and I cannot stress just how big that win was."

Steve Caldwell

"It was a brilliant feeling to be on the winning side in a derby.

"I played at St James's a couple of seasons ago when we lost 2-1 so I still had the memory of that game with me - but to go to the Stadium of Light and beat Sunderland is just great.

"But it wasn't just about Newcastle United beating Sunderland. It was about us getting three more points in our bid to make the Champions League again.

"I was up against big Kyle who I've been with in a few Scotland squads and who I've played against seven or eight times in my career at different levels.

"He's a mate, but he's also a handful so me and Woody had to stay on our toes.

"When you're wearing a black and white shirt and your opponent is wearing a red and white one you don't need any extra motivation.

"But at the same time I was determined he wouldn't score and put one over me."

John Carver

"The fact Sunderland did not have their strongest team out should not take anything away from the result. It's just as good as last season's 1-0 here.

"Playing Sunderland, it doesn't matter when or how you win. It just means so much to everybody.

"When we saw their team before the game we thought they didn't have their strongest XI playing but we still had to make sure our players were prepared properly and that was the case.

"People had been talking about the pressure on us, but the young players coped very well with that."

Alan Shearer

"It was awful sitting in the dug-out on Saturday after I was injured. I find it a lot easier playing than watching.

"We missed chance after chance and I was worried it would haunt us in the end. And, if all the Sunderland fans were talking about the goal they had disallowed, I thought the decision to chalk mine off in the first minute was very harsh."

Quotes from, The Journal, Evening Chronicle and BBC