Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Al Omission Defended

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Al Omission Defended

Article excerpt

Byline: By

Graeme Souness defended his decision to drop Alan Shearer after watching his experimental side beat Fulham 3-1.

Shearer, who has failed to score in his last ten Premiership outings, wasn't even among the subs at Craven Cottage.

Souness said: "Alan took it badly when we were knocked out of the UEFA Cup because he knew it was our best chance of winning something this season.

"He has been feeling physically and physiologically drained and asked if he could be left out. I could not have asked for any more from him on or off the pitch this season so I said yes."

A youthful Magpies line-up crushed Fulham 3-1 with Darren Ambrose, Patrick Kluivert and Shola Ameobi on target as United ended a run of seven Premiership matches without victory.

Souness said: "I'm very happy with the result. We've played better in the last two games but drew.

"This time we did the hard part and scored some goals.

"We've struggled with injuries and have had to rely on some inexperienced players. …

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