Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Old Pal Hodgson Says Souness Can Deliver

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Old Pal Hodgson Says Souness Can Deliver

Article excerpt

Byline: By Paul Gilder

Having worked with Graeme Souness at both Middlesbrough and Liverpool, David Hodgson knows Newcastle's new manager well. And, as Paul Gilder reports, the Darlington boss is expecting an unexpected appointment to pay dividends.

Disappointment was the first emotion to be felt by David Hodgson yesterday when he heard the news that Graeme Souness was on the verge of succeeding Sir Bobby Robson at St James's Park.

"We were interested in one of his players at Blackburn so it was a bit of a kick in the teeth," explained the Darlington boss, one of the more unlikely parties to be affected by the fickle world of top-flight football management.

"Graeme was always very helpful when he was there and there was a player in place to join us when our embargo was lifted. I don't know where that leaves us now."

Souness is sure to send his apologies to Hodgson when he gets time.

Given the rapid way in which Freddie Shepherd moved to secure the services of Robson's replacement over the weekend, that the former team-mates have yet to speak is understandable.

"Graeme never came in to the equation at any point and personally, I just never thought about him," admitted Hodgson, who has known Newcastle's new manager since his days as a Middlesbrough trainee in the 1970s. The pair never played together at Ayresome Park, with Souness leaving for Liverpool before Hodgson graduated from the Teesside youth team, but they were reunited for 12 months at Anfield in 1982.

"I have spoken to Graeme on several occasions this year and he has never really had any intentions of moving," he said. "He has only just had a new house built in Blackburn and I thought that he was hugely settled there.

"But, whenever you are offered an opportunity like this one, you just don't turn it down. …

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