Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Boumsong Will Bounce Back

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Boumsong Will Bounce Back

Article excerpt

Byline: By Stuart Rayner

Jean-Alain Boumsong has received the full backing of manager Graeme Souness despite a disappointing start to the new campaign.

The French international is already the only Newcastle United player to have taken part in every minute of this season's games but his form has been under question lately, particularly after the 25-year-old admitted he was at fault for both goals the Magpies conceded in the 2-0 defeat to Manchester United last month.

Nevertheless with Steven Taylor suspended, Boumsong is certain to start against Manchester City tomorrow, and does so with the full support of his manager.

"I am delighted with him," Souness said of his pounds 8m January signing from former club Rangers. "I think he is, and will be, a terrific player for this club for a long time to come.

"He has snuffed out (Didier) Drogba and (Thierry) Henry in a very short space of time, and he had a bit of a stinker in the second half against Manchester United. But I would not be too hard on him over the Fulham game because as a defensive unit, we were very poor. We had Steven Taylor, who can play right-back but is not entirely happy there, and a player coming back for his first game since last season in Titus Bramble. He obviously was not ready, but because of the injuries we had, we felt that was our best formation."

Bramble will make his second start of the season against Stuart Pearce's side having benefited from a 90-minute reserve-team run-out and a substitute appearance against Blackburn Rovers since the Fulham game.

A combination of Bramble's rustiness and Taylor playing out of position made for a ragged defensive performance by Newcastle that day but Souness is confident the commanding Boumsong will respond in the right way.

"That is what big players do," he argued. …

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