Shearer unhappy with mistakes

Last updated : 16 March 2004 By Martyn Elliott

Another late goal cost the team a point at Spurs on Saturday, the result of what the captain believes was “criminal” defending.

Nothing wrong with Shearer’s sentiments, but I hope that he is not blaming the defence for the recent run of disappointing results.

While the timing of the goals conceded has been sickening, for the most part the back line has played well in recent weeks. If players in midfield and attack had been doing their jobs better most of the late goals would have been irrelevant.

Shearer has performed better than many others, but he is certainly not immune from criticism and has made costly errors himself.

Speaking about the Spurs defeat, Shearer told The Evening Chronicle: "With five minutes left on the clock we had two or three chances to get rid of the ball before they scored, but we decided to try and play football in our own box which is criminal - you cannot do it at this level.

"We did not deserve to lose the game. We've been punished by a late goal and it's amazing the number of times we concede.

"Messing around in our own box cost us three points. We shot ourselves in the foot, there was no way I could see us losing and it's just rubbing salt into the wounds that it was an own goal to take a point away from us.

"We played better than we have done in the league for some time but we've come away with nothing.

"It's tough, it's hard but we will get back to winning ways. We're all disappointed, we've worked hard and there can be no complaints with our work-rate - but silly mistakes have cost us again."