Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

It's Not over Yet

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

It's Not over Yet

Article excerpt

Byline: By Luke Edwards

Sir Bobby Robson believes Newcastle United still have an excellent chance of progressing to the final of the Uefa Cup, despite being held to a goalless draw by Marseille last night.

A depleted United produced one of their best performances of the season, but failed to take their chances as the French side held on to leave the contest delicately balanced for the second leg in a fortnight's time.

And, while Marseille will start as slight favourites at the Stade Velodrome, Robson is confident his side can still triumph with the memories of last season's 3-2 win in Feyenoord and the 2-2 draw at Inter Milan still fresh in the mind.

He said: "We know we can go to Marseille and give them just as tough a game as we have done here.

"They are not favourites. We are optimistic we can do this. We think we can do it.

"A 0-0 result is not a great one, winning 2-0 is, but it is not a bad one either. If we had conceded a goal it would have been tough.

"But it will be very close out there, as it was here. We have an equal chance of going through - as they do.

"There is not much to choose between the sides. It was an absorbing game, very high class and it was one for the connoisseur."

Those sentiments were echoed by skipper Alan Shearer, who felt that Marseille's failure to score an away goal was a huge bonus for a Newcastle side deprived of Craig Bellamy, Kieron Dyer and Jermaine Jenas because of injury.

He said: "It was a very good performance. As the manager said, we were down to the bare bones because of injuries.

"But we had players who came in and made a name for themselves. It was a very mature performance.

"Our main priority was not to concede and we did that. We always fancy ourselves to score goals and I'm sure we can do that away from home."

Nevertheless, Newcastle's evening could have been an even better had they managed to convert the chances they carved out, with Shola Ameobi, Alan Shearer and Gary Speed all going close.

Robson said: "I think we edged the game in the first half and created the better chances. Shola and Alan both miscued headers and Fabien Barthez saved with his legs to keep out Shola as well. …

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