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Press article:

We must hit the road to victory - 12/11/2002

We must hit the road to victory
Let's prove we're a big club
   John Beresford
   Kieron Dyer
   Craig Bellamy
 Leagues & Cups:
   Champions League

Midfield ace Nobby Solano is convinced it will be a case of 'away the lads' when Newcastle United confront Feyenoord in their Champions' League showdown tomorrow night. For United head for the De Kuip Stadium knowing that they have never won a Champions' League game away from St James's Park.

In their only other Champions' League campaign under Kenny Dalglish in 1997, United managed a solitary point on their travels when they came from 2-0 down to earn a 2-2 draw against Dynamo Kiev thanks to a brace of goals from John Beresford. They lost their other two games at PSV Eindhoven and Barcelona without scoring a goal that season. That's why Solano said today: "We have never won away from home in the Champions' League and I hope we can change all that against Feyenoord tomorrow night. "We are a big club and we have to show that - and that means being able to win games in Europe away from St James's Park. "If only we had taken a single point from any one of our first three group games, then we might have been in a better position, but we still have a chance. "Everyone knows how crucial the Feyenoord game is for us. Everyone has to be 100 per cent."

Like United, Feyenoord need the final three points to have any hope of making the second group stage of the Champions' League - but they also know a draw would hand Sir Bobby Robson's side the consolation prize of a UEFA Cup slot at their expense. Solano added: "Feyenoord know they must win so we have to expect them to try to put us under a lot of pressure and come at us, particularly in the first 20 minutes. "So we need to be clever. First of all, we have to try to win the game and stay in the Champions' League because that is the most important thing to us. "But at the very least we must make sure we don't lose so that the club stays in Europe through the UEFA Cup. I think it will be an open game but that could turn out to suit us. "We have Craig Bellamy getting back to full fitness and, along with Kieron Dyer, he is a fast player on the break who can be a big threat to Feyenoord."

Solano, of course, is one of the most experienced players in the United squad but he showed a touch of nerves yesterday. For when he turned up at the check-in for United's chartered 757 plane to Rotterdam, he had brought his wife's passport by mistake. And his wife had to jump in her car and drive to the airport to spare Nobby's blushes.

Evening Chronicle

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