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Press article:

I'll make makems pay - 20/09/2002

I'll make makems pay
Looking after the interests of the team
   Alan Shearer
   Sir Bobby Robson
   Newcastle United
 Leagues & Cups:
   Champions League

NOLBERTO SOLANO is determined to take out his anger on Sunderland tomorrow. The Peru international was fuming after boss Bobby Robson relegated him to the bench for Newcastle's Champions League opener against Dynamo Kiev. Now the livewire right-wing star cannot wait to be unleashed against the Toon's arch-rivals in the St James' Park showdown. The South American and his team-mates were left smarting after a 2-0 defeat in their Group E match on Wednesday. But he is determined to turn around the Geordies' early-season slump in the Premiership by helping them pocket all three points in the Tyne-Wear derby.

Solano, 27, said: "I am angry at being left out against Kiev - but not with the manager. He must do what is best for the team - but I just love playing in every game for Newcastle. Mr Robson spoke to me in Kiev and told me that I will get my opportunity against Sunderland. He said that when teams play away in the Champions League, it is normal for them to be more defensive with their team selection. Where we normally go forward, using our strengths to dominate the play at home, we knew it was going to be tougher there - and so it was. I have to think about the benefits to the team. I cannot just think of my own needs. And, while I want to play in every game for Newcastle, the manager made the decision and I respect that. There is no problem."

Now the Toon Army favourite would love nothing more than to come back with a bang. He added: "This is a very big derby for us - the biggest. We need to win - nothing else will do. But to do this we need to create more chances."

A high-octane derby clash may not be the ideal match following a gruelling 6,000-mile round trip to the Ukraine - especially as striker Alan Shearer suffered a head wound that needed four stitches. However, the influential former England skipper, 32, and Solano are raring to go - and are desperate to get the Toon back to winning ways in the league. Solano admitted: "We are not in a good situation, we have to change our results - and quickly. We have to prove we are as good as I certainly think we are. It is a huge game for our season. I know everyone is talking of how big it is for Sunderland - but it is equally as important for us as we are under the same amount of pressure. But it is not about who we are playing - it is about only gaining three points. I know how important it is for our fans to beat Sunderland but winning the points - whether it's against them or Arsenal, or anyone else, for that matter - is all that counts. The Premiership table does not look good. We have to win to move above Sunderland and then we can concentrate on what is another huge game in the Champions League - against Feyenoord on Tuesday."

The big games are coming thick and fast for the North East side. But Solano insisted: "You will not find us complaining about that. This is what we fought for last season and what we want at Newcastle regularly. We want to face the best of Europe because that means we are going somewhere." Struggling Sunderland go into tomorrow's clash third-bottom in the table yet, surprisingly, their rivals - who finished fourth last season - are a place BEHIND them. But Solano insisted: "We all want to show everybody in the country that Newcastle have not suddenly become a bad side. And I know that if we win this game, the confidence will flood back. An early goal against Sunderland will see us explode back to our best - no worries. Probably the confidence we had from last season has been dented. We need the flow back. Of course, we're disappointed in losing our last three. And what is even more surprising to me is that in those three games we have failed to score. But now we must bounce back and I know we can. Someone will suffer. And, if we win this one against Sunderland, we will carry it on to Tuesday and beat the Dutchmen. How different the story would be then."

The Newcastle Journal

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