Date: 2nd January 2006 at 10:51am
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Graeme Souness is poised to put aside all talk of his job being under threat to ask for transfer funds this month to cope with the absence of Michael Owen.

Owen is set to be sidelined for up to three months with a fractured metatarsal bone in his right foot and the Newcastle boss, who has spent about £50million in the past 12 months, wants Freddy Shepherd to fund more transfers.

Asked about entering the January transfer market, Souness revealed: ‘That’s something we would like to do. Whether we can or not, we’ll have to wait and see. Do I have money to spend? I don’t know – ask the chairman.’

Reserve keeper Steve Harper, who is set to replace Shay Given, admitted: ‘This place is cursed. Lee Clark and I were sitting there on the bench at White Hart Lane and we’ve both seen a lot at this club.

‘There’s a curse on this club and, if anyone can lift it, then feel free. With the luck we’ve had, we’re just getting other people back from injury and then we’ve lost Michael to a bad one.’