Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

United Boss Will Fight On

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

United Boss Will Fight On

Article excerpt

Byline: By Paul Gilder

Freddie Shepherd has told Graeme Souness he will not become the fourth successive Newcastle manager to lose his job in the opening month of a Premiership campaign despite United's dismal start to the season.

And Alan Murray last night tipped the beleaguered St James's Park boss to come out fighting after the Magpies crashed to their third defeat in four games to go into the two-week international break in a top-flight relegation place.

Sir Bobby Robson, Ruud Gullit and Kenny Dalglish were all sacked in the month of August but, although yesterday's 2-0 defeat by Manchester United has left the club with just one point this term, Shepherd will continue to give Souness his backing as he attempts to make further signings ahead of Wednesday's transfer deadline.

The Newcastle manager did not conduct his scheduled post-match Press conference last night. But Murray, who appeared in his absence, was keen to stress that nothing sinister should be read into his failure to face questioning for the second time this season. "There is no significance in it at all," said United's assistant manager.

"Please don't read anything into that that is not there. Graeme is at his very best when his back is to the wall.

"He is a very strong character and he will handle the situation as well as anyone could. We are quite intelligent and we know the situation and we are doing everything we can to change it."

Tomorrow will mark the first anniversary of Robson's controversial dismissal. But, with a pounds 16m bid on the table for Michael Owen, it seems his predecessor will not follow in his footsteps just yet.

"I think it's fair to say we have had reassurances," said Murray. "The chairman has backed Graeme, as Graeme has already said. I think they have a really good relationship in terms of working together and it will continue." The United squad, with the exception of the club's international contingent, will travel to Spain tomorrow for a week of warm weather training and a friendly against Malaga on Friday evening.

With the August 31 deadline approaching fast, talks will continue in an attempt to recruit a new striker. …

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