First appeared in the "News of the World" on Sunday 8.7.01
"I'm back from my holidays refreshed, fit and raring to go - and quite able and prepared to take on Mick's work for the first few weeks of the new season. I refuse to rush into signing a replacement. I am not going to panic. I want to consider it carefully and i will make up my mind over the next few weeks. I have not just lost a top-class coach but a friend as well.
"There was a lot of rubbish written
about Mick in the local papers last season. Rather than blame me for our dip
in form last season, the local media chose to blame Mick -- and that upset
"We have bid for a number of top players already this summer and we are confident of clinching a big name signing in the next couple of days. We had hoped to bring in Boudewijn Zenden from Barcelona but we have been talking to him for six weeks and I have given up.
"If he wanted to come to Newcastle he would have been here by now. We cannot afford to wait. We need a top-quality left footed player and we have one lined up.
"We put our money on the table for Zenden, just as we did for Everton's Francis Jeffers and you cannot do much more than that. The transfer market is going crazy at the moment but I am confident we will have at least one more new player on show when the new season kicks off next month."
On Intertoto participation:
We need a bit more luck this season. Of
course we will get injuries, illness and suspensions but hopefully not to the
degree we have suffered in the last 12 months. All we ask for is a fair crack
of the whip, and with so many good players coming back after injury I am sure
we will have a good season.