Date: 21st March 2007 at 1:20pm
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Despite Duff`s duff showings so far this season Glenn Roeder has come out in praise of the midfielder cum left back`s “team player” attitude:

‘Damien did very well for us on Sunday and I have to say I find him an easy player to handle. Obviously he prefers to play out wide on the left, but when I have asked him to drop back, as I did on Sunday, that’s when he becomes a team player.’

Somehow you can`t imagine the likes of Clough and Shankly offering platitudes for a player who has shown little this season and is picking up three times the average annual national wage a week, but hey-ho. Also in the news is Clarkie praising the new bloods in the reserves. With Ryan Donaldson beating Clark`s own record as youngest reserve scorer he at least has some hope for a good season coming from the stiffs:

“We have a lot of games coming up between now and April 24, but the lads prefer to play matches than train, so it is better for us this way. They just want to get out there and put in some good performances. That’s also what I want to see too. I have said it so many times before that it isn’t results we look at, it’s performances, and I will keep saying that too.

Now we have the opportunity to go out and play to a level that reaches the expectations here at Newcastle. We want to be playing an attractive passing game and the remainder of the season gives us the chance to do this. I went down to Liverpool to see how the young players would get on because I have relied on many of them this season in the reserves. It’s unfortunate they didn’t make the final, but the proof isn’t always about getting to finals – it’s like the reserve team, it’s performances.’