Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Boss Looks to Dyer to Inspire

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Boss Looks to Dyer to Inspire

Article excerpt

Byline: By Paul Gilder

Graeme Souness has identified the imminent return of Kieron Dyer as evidence that brighter times lie ahead for Newcastle after insisting that the talented midfielder is the player most likely to capture the imagination of United's dispirited supporters.

The 26-year-old has been earmarked to make his comeback from a hamstring problem in this evening's Tyne-Tees derby encounter with Middlesbrough and, although his participation will be subject to a late fitness test, a manager missing a raft of important players is desperate to call upon the England international.

Considering the furore which surrounded Dyer when the two teams last met ( he was dropped and widely condemned having objected to being asked to play out of position on the opening weekend of the season ( the significance attached to his restoration demonstrates the laudable manner in which he has got his troubled career back on track.

And, although a contract with little over 12 months to run means his long-term future is uncertain, Souness last night revealed his plan to rebuild his new-look Magpies side around the former Ipswich favourite.

"I have always been an admirer of Kieron and I think anyone who knows anything about football will admire him when he is playing well," said a manager who, having experienced four successive defeats since Dyer limped out of Newcastle's Uefa Cup quarter-final at Sporting Lisbon, hopes his return will give United a timely fillip.

"People tell me that he has been playing the best football of his career over the last few months. I have learnt a lot about him in that time and he has been spot on for me.

"Kieron is a player who is pleasing to the eye, he is someone who gets you on the edge of your seat. If you can get him into the last third of the pitch he is someone who can make things happen."

Given the nature of some of United's recent performances, the qualities of which Souness spoke will be needed if the club are to avoid the ignominy of ending this season in their lowest-ever Premiership position.

"He has a chance (of facing Middlesbrough), he has been doing lots of work," said the Magpies manager, who will be without Jermaine Jenas and Nicky Butt this evening. …

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