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Our season so far - 16/01/2002

   Newcastle United

I'm very happy with the way things are going at the moment - and so are the rest of the Newcastle team. We're playing very good football but I think the difference is that we're really playing hard for each other, the team spirit is excellent - and the manager has to take a lot of credit for that. At the beginning of the season our target was to qualify for Europe. We thought that if things went to plan, a place in the UEFA Cup was achievable, but that was then!! As the season has moved on, we've changed our goal and increased our own expectations. We hope, and we may win the Championship and if we can't have that, then we want Champions League football for next year. I think that Manchester, Arsenal, and Liverpool are all very strong and very good sides, but we know that when we play to our full ability, we can beat any team. You also have to think that the games we have to play are easier than some of our rivals. We have only Liverpool away and Arsenal at home to play.

Many people criticised our entry into the Intertoto Cup, but it got us both mentally and physically fit for the start of the Premiership. They also said that by Christmas we would be tired, I think West Ham played in the competition and had a good start but weakened later in the season, not us! We can prove this by our results, coming back against Arsenal and at Leeds, and then again at home to Leeds, we showed that firstly we never give up, and also that that we were fit enough to keep going.

Maybe I think differently to some people, but I think we can win it. I know that this puts me under pressure, but that's the way I like it. I came to Newcastle for football reasons and that hasn't changed. I want to win, and now I want to win for the fans, they have been excellent. The pressure of saying we can win is good, it keeps me concentrated on what we have to do and makes me determined to succeed.

We have an away game at Leicester on Saturday and we must win it. If you are to win the Championship, then it is games like this that you have to pick up three points for - anything less is not good enough. If we continue with our consistency and the other clubs keep taking points off each other, than that is good and we can win the Championship.

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