Having managed to incredibly keep a clean sheet at Stoke, the man between the sticks Shay Given, has quickly outlined the players` responsibilities to Sam Allardyce. Taking the emphasis off the boss and placing it on the players, Shay follows Nicky Butt in trying to relieve our beleaguered boss. Also I detect a good hint of siege mentality kicking in. He said:
‘We as players have to stand up and be counted because the only reason the manager is under pressure is that we are under-performing. We’ve got to put that right, stick together and start playing better. The manager doesn’t cross the line – it’s up to the players. The team he picks has to start performing for Newcastle United and that’s the bottom line at the moment.
The television cameras were at Stoke because they expected it to be another upset, that was why there was all the interest in us. We had to go there and do a professional job, although obviously it would have been better if we had won the game. We didn’t take our chances again. But we’re delighted to disappoint everyone who wanted us to fall flat on our faces. People wanted us to fail so they could have another go at the manager.’
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