Toon more important than England

Last updated : 24 March 2003 By Martyn Elliott

The dynamic midfielder made the claim when speaking about the upcoming England games and the competition for places with Jermaine Jenas.

"I could have done with an easier game before going off to link up with England, but I bet Jermaine Jenas enjoyed the break," he told The Journal.

"But club football has got to come first. I have to give 100 per cent to Newcastle and let the international football take care of itself.

"I can't be thinking about England when we've got so much to play for this season, but I'm looking forward to the break from the Premiership over the next 10 days.

"It's very relaxing when you're away on international duty. The manager doesn't push us too hard because he knows what we go through every week and England fixtures are never as frantic as league games.

"I feel part and parcel of the international set-up now and I've been selected to play whenever I've been fit. It's an experience I look forward to."

It’s good to hear an international player actually saying that for once, as there is always a suspicion that not all of them do give 100 per cent all the time for their clubs – not that Dyer could be accused of that.

But note the outstanding displays given by Steven Gerrard, Michael Owen and Danny Murphy for Liverpool on the day the international squad was finalised.