Date: 19th February 2006 at 1:10pm
Written by:

Roeder: ‘Kieron Dyer didn’t know he was playing until I rang him up at 1pm this afternoon. I knew last night there was a possibility he might have to play. But I wanted him to have a good night’s sleep, because it’s such a long time since he’s started a game.

‘Alan was probably 70-30, 80-20 that he wasn’t going to start – and we did really well to keep that quiet. It’s hard to do that nowadays.

‘But the scan revealed he’s got a strain – and if we risked him there was every chance he would not have finished the game and every chance it would have developed into a tear which could have taken him out for a month or six weeks. We can’t have that. It doesn’t need me to say how important Alan Shearer is to Newcastle United.

‘The game could have been over and done with by half-time. Southampton played some good football. It was a typical George Burley team. They didn’t just crash it long; they weren’t just physical. When they could they got it down and passed it. They’ve got some players there who have probably played in the Premiership – and it was a treat for them to come up here today to come away from the rigours of the Championship.

‘If we rewind the video of the first 45 minutes no one could deny we could have easily been over the hill and away. But that doesn’t take anything away from the fact that they did play well. They had a spell in the second half before we scored where we were chasing the ball. The goal came at the right time for us.

‘But I think it would be very unfair to suggest we were lucky. Shay Given made one brilliant save – but you are entitled to make one save a week for your money.’