Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Souness Staying Calm in Storm

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Souness Staying Calm in Storm

Article excerpt

Byline: By Luke Edwards

Graeme Souness last night pledged to keep his calm as Newcastle United prepare to ride into the eye of a potential storm at Blackburn Rovers on Boxing Day.

Souness takes United to his former club knowing a defeat will dramatically increase the pressure which has already started to envelop St James's Park in recent weeks.

With just one win from eight league games, Souness' position as United boss is already being called into question by supporters dismayed by the club's slide down to 13th place in the Premiership.

But the Newcastle boss is unperturbed by the talk of a crisis and declared his intention to keep his head, even if those around him are losing theirs.

"When I look at the position I'm in now, I'm still excited about what we can achieve at this football club," said the former Scotland international, who has always maintained that being rushed to hospital for emergency heart surgery in 1992 when he was manager of Liverpool was the biggest test of his life. "If this was my second job in management then what is happening might be a surprise.

"But I've been at some big clubs before, Liverpool, Benfica and Galatasaray and it is exactly the same.

"This is one of the biggest clubs in the world and I knew what to expect when I came here and I know what to expect now. There is big pressure because it's a big club.

"But I've had times when the pressure is really on and I look at how I dealt with things then. I'm not even talking about football, I'm talking about personal things.

"I am the man I am today because of, like everybody, the way I've dealt with the bad times in life."

Nevertheless, while a defeat at Ewood Park on Sunday might not be an absolute disaster, it would undoubtedly turn more of the club's fans against Sir Bobby Robson's successor.

To his credit, Souness is ready to acknowledge that fact and it is impossible not to have a certain amount of sympathy for him because of the injuries and defensive frailties he has inherited. …

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