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Last Updated: Tuesday, 7 November 2006, 06:30 GMT
Shepherd backs beleaguered Roeder
Glenn Roeder (left) and Freddy Shepherd
Shepherd (right) and Roeder are showing a united front
Newcastle chairman Freddy Shepherd says he is "right behind" under-fire manager Glenn Roeder and is backing him to lead the club to Premiership safety.

Shepherd met Roeder and the players on Monday to discuss the club's slump to second bottom of the Premiership.

Shepherd told BBC Five Live: "I've got full confidence in the players and the manager. We'll get out of this blip.

"I'm no different from any other Newcastle supporter and it's also upset the players and the manager."

The Magpies have not won in seven league matches and were beaten at home by Sheffield United at the weekend.

That result sparked protests after the game with thousands of fans booing the team and chanting "sack the board".

Glenn Roeder has stood up all his life and he will always stay standing up whatever happens to him

Glenn Roeder

Shepherd has missed the club's last four matches as he spent time out of the country for family reasons.

But he vowed to redouble his efforts to steer the club in the right direction, despite mounting speculation the Jersey-based Belgravia Group is ready to launch a takeover bid.

"Right now, it would seem I am the only one prepared to do this job and it's one I will continue to do to the very best of my ability and with the best interest of the club at heart," Shepherd said.

"These things happen in football and the fans are entitled to do that.

"I'm one of them and I'll never criticise the Geordie supporters. I know they'll get behind us."

Shepherd added that the club's injury situation was largely to blame for the poor start to the season.

He said: "We've had nine injuries, including Michael Owen, who was brought in to replace Shearer, and Kieron Dyer with long-term injuries. It's not an excuse, it's a fact.

606: DEBATE
EO

"But I'm not going to drop my head. I'm going to get in there and fight."

Earlier, Roeder said that he had no intention of standing down, despite taking only two points from their last seven matches.

"We all know the horrible feeling when you're on a poor run and we also know, our experience tells us, it will change, it will turn," said Roeder, who replaced Graeme Souness in February.

"We do have enough quality, even if the squad is small, and hopefully we'll get some better luck with injuries and turn this season around quickly.

"Glenn Roeder has stood up all his life and he will always stay standing up whatever happens to him."

Newcastle have not won a league match since the 2-0 triumph over Roeder's former club West Ham on 17 September.

It is a massive club, it is a special, special place and the fans deserve better

Damien Duff

Midfielder Damien Duff said: "Stick is flying around and deservedly so. It is us players you can blame and no-one else, really.

"We will take it on the chin, keep working hard and move on."

Duff has been pressed into service as an emergency striker for the Magpies in recent weeks with Michael Owen, Obafemi Martins, Shola Ameobi and Antoine Sibierski all injured.

But he heads into tonight's Carling Cup match with Watford desperate to add to his goal tally after managing just one to date since his 5m summer move from Chelsea.

He added: "They are not flowing at the minute, but I will keep working hard and hopefully they will come.

"But I am not worrying about myself, the most important thing is the team.

"It is a massive club, it is a special, special place and the fans deserve better.

"I just want to help the team get back to winning ways."



SEE ALSO
Newcastle 0-1 Sheffield Utd
04 Nov 06 |  Premiership
Roeder bemoans fixture 'madness'
03 Nov 06 |  Newcastle United


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