Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

We'll Finish off in Style

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

We'll Finish off in Style

Article excerpt

Byline: By Simon Rushworth

Olivier Bernard is confident this season's Uefa Cup experience will inspire Newcastle to end a fluctuating campaign in style after reiterating his view that United will still finish fourth.

The Magpies take on Premiership whipping boys Wolverhampton Wanderers at St James's Park tomorrow, less than 72 hours after failing to reach a major European final for the first time in 35 years.

And, although Bernard admits Sir Bobby Robson's men are struggling to recover from the disappointment of Thursday's 2-0 defeat in Marseille, the determined full-back is calling for a convincing return to form this weekend.

"If anything, the Uefa Cup experience will make us stronger and help us finish the season well," explained the former Lyon defender. "The important thing is that we don't let the semi-final defeat get to us.

"There's nothing to play for now but fourth place.

"We can focus all our efforts on that and really go for it.

"We will have to step up away from home and that last game of the season at Liverpool will be vital.

"But at least we know what we're playing for.

"Everybody's focused on taking fourth place and, no matter what anybody says, I think we will do it."

With Aston Villa and Liverpool in action today, Newcastle know they could be set adrift from their Champions League rivals come kick-off tomorrow.

But United are still clinging to the fact that they possess a game in hand over the two sides immediately above them. Goal difference could also be a factor and, with Gerard Houllier's men boasting a better record than the Magpies, Bernard believes the home team must focus on a high-scoring victory against a defensively suspect Wanderers team tomorrow.

"We have to come straight back with a win against Wolves," he added. "And a win just won't be good enough - we have to score as many goals as we can.

"A big victory is so important if we're going to put this week behind us."

Bernard, like so many of his colleagues, was well below par in front of an intimidating Stade Velodrome crowd on Thursday and the Frenchman was hoping for more on a night when Newcastle never pulled out of third gear. …

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