United won’t let sacking distract them

Last updated : 16 February 2003 By Martyn Elliott

He was full of sympathy for the German, but remains focused on earning a vital Champions League victory.

"I'm never happy when a colleague loses his job, whether it's in England or out of England really," he said.

"I know him slightly. I met him when the draw was made. He had a fantastic year last year and did very well. He seemed to be a very young, bright man, so I'm sorry that it's happened to him.

"But as it's always been, it's about results, I guess, and the pressure to get results is always on you, and if you don't get them, something like that can happen.

"It's a side of the game. It's not the greatest side of the game, but it happens, I guess.

"But I don't think it will affect us, how we play and what happens at Newcastle. They've taken a very dramatic step, I think. They must know what the repercussions are to that, but it doesn't affect me.

"They're not having a good time. They lost on Saturday again. I had Dave Geddis and Gordon Milne both at the game and they rang me on Saturday night and again on Sunday.

"They'll want to get back on track either through the Champions League or their league programme, and we just want to continue.

"What change it makes to Bayer Leverkusen, I don't know, but I'm sorry he's gone. He seemed to be a nice man. But that's the life of a football trainer, I guess."