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Last Updated: Tuesday, 4 December 2007, 12:13 GMT
Newcastle duo reject revolt claim
Sam Allardyce
Allardyce has been heavily criticised by Newcastle fans
Newcastle duo Shay Given and Steve Harper have backed under-fire boss Sam Allardyce and rejected reports of a player revolt at St James' Park.

Given and Harper hit back at claims that they had been part of a delegation unhappy with Allardyce's methods.

A statement read: "The story that has appeared is total and utter nonsense.

"Sam Allardyce has the full backing and support of every Newcastle United player and we are all working together as one to bring success to the club."

The statement went on: "Many issues are discussed between players and the manager, as is commonplace at any club.

"Far from that being 'player power' or any other ridiculous description, this is sensible and constructive communication and a key part of the process of helping to build a stronger football club which will also take us forward."

I look around and see people ready to embrace that challenge. We really just have to show solidarity at this time

Nigel Pearson

Those sentiments have been echoed by Allardyce's assistant Nigel Pearson, who told BBC Radio 5 Live: "The criticism that's come our way has hurt everyone but what we've got to do now is show everyone how together we are and scrap for results.

"The expectations that come with this club are huge and we have to be up for that, take it on the chin and then go out and show what we're made of.

"I look around and see people ready to embrace that challenge. We really just have to show solidarity at this time."

Allardyce admits he is fighting to save his job after a dismal run of results.

Arsenal visit Newcastle on Wednesday amid growing criticism from fans and regular reports of player unrest.

Allardyce said: "There's no point beating around the bush. Yes, I'm under the cosh and, yes, I've got to get results sooner rather than later.

"We're having a bad time in terms of results, but it can be turned around as quickly as it's gone bad."


Allardyce has also had to cope with mounting speculation that former Newcastle legend Alan Shearer is being lined up to replace him should his side fail to beat Arsenal at St James' Park.

But he remained defiant, saying: "If Alan decides to take my job, I hope it'll be when I've decided to leave because I've made the club successful.

"And he'll be taking over a club that I've improved significantly, like what happened with Sammy Lee and Bolton, but if it's the other way then you have to live with it."

Allardyce brushed off suggestions he has been confronted by a group of senior Newcastle players who were unhappy with his methods.

He said: "My private discussions with players and staff are exactly that.

"Players are not happy about a lot of the stuff I do because they're players and I'm the manager.

Players are not happy about a lot of the stuff I do because they're players and I'm the manager

Newcastle boss Sam Allardyce

"I'm the man who knows what's right for them and I know it more than they do. That's why I sit in this chair. It's immaterial."

Allardyce admitted: "When you're having a bad time there are always elements and factors trying to make a big deal of things.

"Today's politically correct society believes that that's a disruption, but that's an everyday occurrence as a manager.

"Somebody will have a problem with something or other, whether it's how you go about the week, wanting to play, off the field. There's always something a player doesn't like. Some of it sneaks into the papers.

"Whoever did it might think it's making a point, but it will only make me more resilient and stronger. I just find it disappointing it ends up in the paper, but that's life."

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