Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

United Chiefs Backing Bowyer

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

United Chiefs Backing Bowyer

Article excerpt

Byline: By Stuart Rayner

Freddie Shepherd and Graeme Souness have joined forces to praise the attitude of Lee Bowyer after the midfielder took another step closer to rehabilitating his Magpies career in Spain on Wednesday.

The 28-year-old added to his chequered reputation last season when he was involved in an on-pitch brawl with team-mate Kieron Dyer. Bowyer was singled out by United as the sole culprit and fined a record six weeks' wages ( around pounds 200,000 ( for his behaviour.

His response ( to put his house on the market then hold talks with Birmingham City and Charlton Athletic ( suggested the former Leeds United and West Ham player was unhappy at the club, but last week he publicly reaffirmed his commitment to the black-and-white cause.

"We have been delighted to hear Lee's recent comments that he wants to stay with Newcastle United," said a joint statement released by chairman Shepherd and manager Souness yesterday. "What has happened in the past is now in the past. Lee is a fantastic player and remains one of the most popular lads in the dressing room. He has always given 110% commitment for the club."

Despite missing Newcastle's opening game through injury, Bowyer has been one of the most impressive performers in the early stages of United's premature start to the new campaign.

He capped it off with a stunning goal away to Deportivo La Coruna in Wednesday's 2-1 Intertoto Cup semi-final first leg defeat, then stated: "I want to play for a team that wants me."

Souness has long maintained he did not want to see the gifted but controversial Londoner leave but it is significant the chairman has now also thrown his backing behind a player he was heavily critical of in the aftermath of the incident with Dyer.

"As long as I am here I will give my all," Bowyer asserted.

"I come out to give my all wherever I play. It is not about proving people wrong, but I have done that all my career. …

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