Date: 21st April 2008 at 5:11pm
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Kevin Keegan believes that the character shown by his players was the key to the Toon’s victory in the Tyne-Wear derby on Sunday: ‘Credit to the players, we never ever played well against Sunderland,’ Keegan told BBC Radio Newcastle. ‘If you take the level of performance, I could have taken four or five players off at half time.

‘It’s the character. Geremi and Joey Barton gave the ball away but they didn’t hide, they try again.’

When the Toon fans are in full voice they are amongst the very best in the country, but in order for them to be at their best they have to like what they see, and Keegan believes they are again starting to like this, so he had plenty of praise for the Toon Army and feels it will only get better if the players keep putting in that type of commitment: ‘If you get results here, the fans come here behind you. If you don’t, you have to win them over and that’s what this group of players have done,’ Keegan added.

‘They’ve had a tough time this year. Win them over and then you get an atmosphere like that.

‘A lot of the players were saying ‘Wow, we’ve never expected anything like that’ and I said you’ll get that every week if you wear the shirt with pride.’

The bragging rights belong to the Toon for this season, but will this be the case next season and will the Toon Army continue the support like they gave on Sunday?

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