Date: 29th December 2005 at 12:24pm
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Although the Charlton fixture was called off just 25 minutes before kick-off and was a major annoyance to supporters, it could prove to be a blessing in disguise for a manager who has made no secret of his dissatisfaction with a gruelling festive schedule.

Souness: ‘Without a shadow of a doubt it was right to call the game off,’ said the Magpies manager, who had planned to give Celestine Babayaro and Albert Luque breaks from first-team action during a game which never was.

‘The big danger was to the public. It took me an hour to get here from just three miles away. It is freezing and, had we played the game, it would have only got worse by the time we finished.

‘It’s frustrating for me and the players. You get built up for a game and when it’s called off, you are deflated. But that’s part and parcel of the game. We have got to try to get on with it.’