Date: 12th February 2008 at 1:11pm
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Having been able to watch the season unfold from the bench, Steve Harper has taken that back seat perspective on the season so far, watching as we`ve imploded time and time again following conceding goals. Speaking to the Ronnie he admitted that the next few months are going to be battle stations for the players:

“We need all hands on deck if we are to get out of this. We cannot do anything about the other teams. It is about what we do that is important. We have 12 games left to start getting points.

We have been on that run and we have only picked up two draws. A win would kick-start things and bring that belief back. At half-time at Villa we were thinking of taking the three points, which would have taken us nicely into the Manchester United game. That match will now be like the Arsenal game in December at St James`s Park when we drew 1-1. Back then we had been on a bad run and people want to see a response from us. We have two weeks to produce a response against the best team in the country.

We have to lick our wounds. There are no easy games in the Premier League – and while that is an old cliche – it is also a fact. We have Oba back and the rest of the lads from the African Nations. So we have the full complement of players back.

It`s always the same, you are sitting on the bench and you have to be ready. Shay Given opened right up on the first goal and that injured his groin.The next time he got the ball he really felt it. At half-time everything was rosy. We were 1-0 up and we kept the ball well. Their fans were getting restless and had we got the second goal it would have been game over. But we conceded and we self-destructed.

At 2-1 down you look to get back into it but it wasn`t to be. It was frustrating after pulling off a couple of good saves but whether it was 2-1, 3-1 or 4-1 we still came away with nothing. It was very disappointing because we really needed something.”