The Boro win - reaction in full

Last updated : 05 November 2002 By Martyn Elliott

Sir Bobby

"I thought this was a massive victory and I cannot praise the players highly enough.

"We have won four games on the trot and do you realise how massive and difficult that is?

"I'm delighted with our players. I cannot pay them enough compliments.

"It wasn't spectacular but we had to grind out a result.

"I know there were one or two incidents but, overall, I felt we deserved to win.

"We had probably the youngest back four in the Premiership and they kept a clean sheet against what is a very good Middlesbrough team.

"They are a much stronger outfit than recently and this was a massive result for us.

"We have not jumped up too many places but we have closed the gap and we do have that game in hand over the rest.

"I am delighted. To win four games in a row speaks volumes for the players and you have just got to applaud them. All in all I thought this was a spectacular victory."

Steve McLaren

"We didn't deserve to lose 2-0.

"We just can't believe we haven't taken something from the game and for a long spell we were the dominant side.

"But in these big games you need the big decisions to go your way. It seemed like a clear penalty after the challenge on Massimo but it wasn't given and they went up to the other end and scored.

"We created as many chances as any side I have seen at St James's Park this season and the final scoreline was especially disappointing."

Gary Speed

"That's four wins in a row at St James's Park and it was really an excellent one for us.

"We have had to dig in for all these four wins in games that the results could have gone either way.

"But we have shown great resolve to come out on top and that's exactly what happened against Middlesbrough.

"Middlesbrough did cause us problems in the first half with their shape but we managed to stifle that. And, to tell the truth, the goals came at the right time for us as we were under a bit of pressure.

"But all credit to the Newcastle players. They stuck at it and worked ever so hard. Make no mistake about it, Middlesbrough are very strong this season and we knew we were going to be in for a tough game.

"In fact, if you had offered us a 2-0 win at the start of the game we would have snapped your hands off. Yes, we rode our luck a bit and Middlesbrough could have had a couple of penalties and Maccarone hit the post.

"I cannot speak highly enough of Steve Caldwell. He has not been involved in the first-team for some time now. But his attitude and his hard work in training which nobody sees has been fantastic and his goal capped a great performance."

Steve Caldwell

"The problem playing at a club like Newcastle United is that they are so big they are always buying high profile players and you can be pushed aside.

"I have asked for my chance and though it really came last night through default, the most important thing was how the fans re-acted.

"I feel very proud to wear the black and white jersey and I hope the fans look at me and see that I am someone who gives his all.

"While goals are nice and grab you the headlines, they are really just a bonus and the most pleasing and important thing last night was our clean sheet.

"When I took into consideration our defensive problems, I had been keeping my fingers crossed that I might be given a chance again. I had a few pre-match butterflies but I knew I could handle it all and in the end I was just so pleased to get the chance I have been waiting so long to get."

Andy Griffin

"I asked Jonathan if I had caught him and he said no so I felt I was harshly treated by the referee. There was only 20 minutes on the clock so I had to show a lot of control and I knew that I would have to be very careful.

"And at half time the manager warned me that he did not want to be playing with 10 men for any part of the second half.

"I know that because of the type of player I am I am vulnerable picking up yellow cards and the odd red card. But I also know when to be careful with my tackles and that's what I did last night.

"We are a very difficult team to beat at home and we have shown a lot of character lately.

"We have the desire to win and also the will to win and as far as I am concerned the more games I play the more confident I become."