Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Football: United Will Be a Force Again; Dyer Tips a Roeder Recovery

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Football: United Will Be a Force Again; Dyer Tips a Roeder Recovery

Article excerpt

Byline: Paul Gilder

Arsenal 1

Newcastle United 1

KIERON Dyer is confident Newcastle can again be a force to be reckoned with in the Premiership and insisted Glenn Roeder's improving team have set a benchmark that will spell the end of the club's relegation fears.

And the 27-year-old last night admitted he had enjoyed proving a point to the critics who predicted that Saturday's tough trip to the Emirates Stadium would end with United rock bottom of the top-flight table.

Dyer marked his first senior start in seven months with a sensational goal at Arsenal, as a visiting team third from the foot of the league standings held opponents third from the top to a deserved draw.

And the England international has told his team-mates that, as long as they can maintain the high standards shown in North London, their Premiership predicament will prove to be shortlived.

"We have set ourselves a benchmark and we mustn't dip below that standard for the rest of the season," the midfielder told Newcastle World. "If we can keep these high standards we will fly up the league, no problem.

"There is no point in getting a point at Arsenal and then not building on it against Portsmouth (at St James's Park this weekend) and so that is a must-win game. But we have got a lift by coming out of the bottom three when some people had been saying that we would be bottom of the league after this game. We have proved them wrong now and hopefully we can move onwards and upwards."

With Charlton, Watford and Sheffield United all losing at the weekend Newcastle have climbed to 17th in the Premiership table and, although it has been nine weeks since Roeder's team have won a league game, confidence has been renewed in the dressing room.

"To go to somewhere like Arsenal and be disappointed to not pick up three points says a lot about the performance," said Dyer. "It was a thoroughly great team performance and I thought that the tactics worked extremely well. The gaffer (Roeder) got hammered in some quarters after playing that kind of formation at Manchester United. But the tactics were spot on."

Newcastle led for 40 minutes and, although Arsenal dominated possession and chances, it took a world-class equaliser from Thierry Henry to prevent United from becoming the first team to prevail at the Emirates Stadium. …

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