Roeder In Crunch Talks With Shepherd!

... the question asked by thousands of Toon fans is "why has it taken a 5-1 humiliation to get the wheels in motion when the problems have been there for months?"

The 51-year-old met with Magpies chairman on Thursday morning to talk about transfers. But West Ham are the immediate concern, and he wonders if some of the young players have got over the shock of Wednesday's grilling in front of millions of TV viewers.

Roeder: "I will just see how they respond and then I will make a decision after training (this morning) as to whether I think one or two of them are in the right frame of mind to be able to handle playing on Saturday.

"If I don't think they are, they will be rested. We will have had a couple of days in which we can work with them and put them back together again. I always think that if you are going to give them a break, it is better to do it on the back of a good performance or a win. It was a really poor show (against Birmingham) and they are all feeling down about it - all of them, senior and young.

"The squad needs defenders - that part of the team certainly needs reinforcements. It (the Birmingham result) doesn't change our transfer plans. That would be stupid, wouldn't it?

"To let one non-performance change what my plans are would be wrong. But what it does do is reinforce the importance of being able to fulfil what my plans are for the next two weeks.

"We will have players back (soon) and that will freshen the team up. They had to listen to what I had to say to (after the game) but I think, really and truly, it would be better if they listen to what I have to say to them now.

"There's a time to blast players and there's a time to stay calm. It has been dealt with and I have got every confidence they will sort themselves out in time for West Ham."