Press article:

It's Sol in our hands - 15/05/2003

Wing wonder Nolberto Solano believes that Newcastle United must win the games that matter if they are to challenge for the Premiership title next season. Last season against the five other teams in the top six, United took just 11 points from a possible 30 - and the Peru skipper has pinpointed this as the reason why Newcastle's Premiership challenge petered out late in the season. But he believes another season of Champions League football will strengthen the Magpies and make them more like champions Manchester United and runners-up Arsenal, who are both able to rise to the big occasions.

Newcastle's only wins against top-six sides came at home to Chelsea, Liverpool and Blackburn Rovers, with United taking just a point from their four meetings against Man United and Arsenal. "We played well all season but in the crucial times we need to be more like Manchester United and Arsenal - we have to win the crucial games," said Solano. "We were very close last season, but we lost to Everton at a crucial time and then we lost to Manchester United, which was also a big game. "Had we won them we would still have been in there fighting for the title. It comes down to doing as well as you can in the crucial games. "That is where we need to be strong. Manchester United and Arsenal have the experience in the big situations and everybody at those clubs has played at least five times in the Champions League and the players have played in big World Cup games. "It is important that we're back in the Champions League and that we stick in there every season so we can build a team that can succeed."

Solano re-stated his commitment to United at the end of the season, insisting he has no intention of leaving St James's Park. The right-sided player, signed by Kenny Dalglish for stlg2.5 million in 1998 from Boca Juniors, has three years left on his contract and is determined to help Newcastle win some silverware.

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