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Bobby Robson Press Conference

Monday 14th May 2001, as reported by various media sources...
From Skysports:

"I think I've worked a miracle here, when I came here, this club was sinking, this club was in the First Division. Make no mistake, it was in the First Division and I did a hell of a job last year because I was experienced and I was tough and I sorted the problems out.

"This year, we thought we would have done better. At one stage, we were top, then we went to fifth, then we went to sixth and then Alan Shearer goes, Kieron Dyer goes, Carl Cort's not fit and Nikos Dabizas isn't fit."

If we had Shearer and Dyer and Robert Lee in the team, would we be much better off? Of course we would - we'd be a third better off, 33 per cent better off.

"We know next year with those players back in - and I'm including Robert Lee because in my opinion, he's still got a very good year left in him - we'll do better."

"We know to do better than we have done this year and better than we did last year, we just need to improve our situation, and the chairman is fully aware of that because we've discussed it at senior level.

"We're not saying anything to anybody, we're just going to try to go ahead and do our business."

"I've worked a miracle here and I will battle on and see it through."

From the Mirror:
"We are getting criticised for everything at the moment. There are knives
going in my back and arrows flying around my head. But I don't think some people have any idea what we have had to do to keep the ship solvent. The greater the troubles, the greater my passion and determination will be." 

"I've got jerks telling me to get rid of Alan Shearer, Warren Barton, Rob Lee and Gary Speed. Jerks who don't know what they are talking about. 
"Without those players last season we would have been relegated. What
loyalty is that? They have saved this club." 

"I hope most fans are backing me because if not, what would be the point of sticking around?

"People say 'Get rid of me'. But I took over a sinking ship. It was going
straight down to the First Division. Can people not see that we are turning it around, cleaning it up. We need time and honesty and loyalty." 

"Yes, we haven't done as well as I'd hoped this season. 

"No-one feels it more than I do. This is my area and my people and I'm
trying to represent them on the football field. 

"We have not produced the season they deserve. But I've been in football for 50 years, do you think I don't know that? Let's just remember we could have been in Manchester City's position and relegated. We all know we have got out of jail."

Regarding lack of passion from his players and his buying policy

"When the players lose they are just as angry as the public. The fans don't see it but I do. They come in and shout and throw their shirts down in disappointment. We have been accused of bad buys. Was Kevin Gallacher a bad buy at 500,000? Or Clarence Acuna for 1m? Would you sell on Carl Cort now for 7m? No, you'd laugh at the price. 

"Ring up a Premiership manager now and ask to buy a midfielder and a striker that can cut it in the Premiership and say you've only got 1.5m
to spend. They'd laugh. But that's what I've had to do. 

"I will have had to get rid of - and I mean get rid of - 31 players in my
time here by the end of the season. What other manager has had to do that in just two years?"

on criticism of Mick Wadsworth and John Carver:
"I'm not having it - they are the equals of any in the country. 

About the Arsenal and Villa games:

"We've got to finish on a high, show them we can battle and give it a go. That's what the fans want to see." 

From the Journal:

"I think I've worked a miracle at this club, When I came here Newcastle United was sinking. This club was heading for the First Division - make no mistake about it. I did a great job here last season because I am experienced, tough and I can solve problems.

"I accept we wanted to do better this season but what we want now is for our public to be with us.

"We don't want knives in our backs and arrows flying around our heads - what good does that do to a football club."

"It would appear that loyalty means nothing.

"I read that one supporter was suggesting the club gets rid of Alan Shearer, Rob Lee, Warren Barton and Gary Speed. Without those players we would have been in the First Division and they were and still are Blue Chip Brigade.

"I don't accept any rubbish from people who don't know any better than to write a stupid letter which gets printed."

"Let me tell you about Mick Wadsworth, he's been in football for a long time and he's had to come in every morning, pull on his training kit and actually work with players on the pitch.

"He's no fly-by-night former big-name player who's come in and said 'I've had a great career so I'm going to be a great coach.

"He doesn't just stand there and put the cones out. He's actually worked his way up from where it matters and I know what he's done.

"Do Newcastle fans honestly think that I would employ a coach who wasn't good enough - a coach who was sub-standard for my club?

"If that was the case he'd be out. As it is my coaching staff is equal to any in the country and I will continue to stand up for them."

"I'll have more to say by the end of the week."


Page last updated 24 June, 2009