Date: 4th December 2006 at 1:55pm
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Newcastle have kept a couple of clean sheets with a makeshift back four to bring renewed hope to a defence that looks like a ‘rabbit’s hind leg’.

Mainly due to full-back pairing that is doing the business … unlike the two players who are currently out injured.

Right-winger Nobby Solano and central defender Peter Ramage have raised the hopes of the fans, after Stephen Carr and Celestine Babayaro have looked out of sorts for so many games.

Carr is well past his best, and at times his brain seems as slow as his legs. He looked the part when he first arrived, and Spurs were sorry to see him go. But he retired from international duty for a while when he started to struggle, and he has yet to convince the Toon Army he is the man to see us out of the mess we are in.

Babayaro has never been good at the one thing you expect from a full-back … cutting out crosses. And at times I wonder what is going on that skull of his. We’ve all heard the rumours of his strange ways off the field, but so long as a player produces ON the field everything is forgotten.

However … Roeder has come to the conclusion we need a left-back in the January transfer window and Babayaro looks to be on his way.

It says a lot when Solano, an out-and-out right winger, can do a terrific job at the back when Carr looks so laboured.

On the other side of the pitch, Ramage is a central defender who is right-footed and an obvious target for wingers to attack. Yet he is certainly holding his own, if not producing any outstanding displays.