Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Antoine Leaves City Far Behind

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Antoine Leaves City Far Behind

Article excerpt

Byline: By Luke Edwards

Antoine Sibierski believes he has had the last laugh on Manchester City manager Stuart Pearce after pointing out that he could be preparing for a Uefa Cup final as his former club struggle against relegation in the Premiership.

Sibierski can barely hide his dislike for Pearce, who pushed the Frenchman out of the first-team picture at the City of Manchester Stadium last season and then publicly questioned his ability when he moved to Newcastle on a free transfer back in August.

Inevitably, United's free-transfer recruit has taken great pleasure in proving his former boss wrong during a surprisingly successful first season on Tyneside which will be rewarded with a new contract at the end of the season.

He said: "It is possible that at the end of the season we are preparing for a European final and they are fighting relegation. That is football. It has changed so much for me in a year.

"I had bad days there and lost my confidence as a footballer. Now I am at Newcastle, it is much better. I am the same player with the same qualities, but with much more confidence and I get that from my manager, team-mates and the club. I am scoring goals and am very happy with the way it has been going."

Some of Sibierski's best performances this season have come in Europe, typified by the wonderful solo goal he scored in the 3-1 first leg victory over Zulte-Waregem last month.

And the former Lens forward believes the omens are good for the Magpies as they go in search of their first major trophy since the Fairs Cup success of 1969.

Sibierski added: "I really believe we can win the Uefa Cup. If we beat AZ, then we are in the quarter-finals. There is still a long way to go, but we have to believe it.

"The Uefa Cup has been good for me. It is as if the script has been written for me, I made my debut in it, scored my first goal, have played in most of the games and even came up against my best man in the previous round (Waregem defender Frederic Dindeleux). …

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