Souey denies Carr bust-up
By Adam Marshall
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Graeme Souness has denied reports of a bust-up with full back Stephen Carr.
Graeme Souness has laid into newspaper criticism of his players and denied reports of a bust-up with full back Stephen Carr.
In an exclusive interview with Sky Sports News, the Newcastle United manager had some choice words for journalists he feels are plotting a campaign to hound him out of Tyneside.
"It's not helpful," he affirmed. "It's not helpful when local newspapers give my players [ratings of] two out of ten and come out with nonsense like they should never wear the black and white shirt again. They're critical of the players themselves and that hurts them. It's critical of the football club, the chairman who backed whatever player was brought in for x amount and it puts enormous pressure on the players.
"Players are always the most important people at a football club and they continually get caned, in my opinion, most unfairly.
"The person who has written that [about Carr] has got another agenda. He wants to make as much mischief for me as possible. I accept that and bring it on.
"If that individual thinks the relationship I have with him, being asked to do it every day, to help him do his job, is so, when it suits him, he can stick it so far up my backside it comes out of the top of my head. My principle is that you help me, I help you. If you don't help me, why should I help you?
"That story was so far off the mark but it led to great mischief for me. Stephen Carr and I haven't had a bust-up. We've spoken but a bust-up suggests we were about to fight with each other and that has never happened."
Souness reiterated his desire to turn things around at St James' Park and stressed all the playing staff are behind him.
"I can assure the fans that, when a game starts, I am for that 90 minutes, the biggest fan Newcastle has," he insisted. "I feel tremendous responsibility and have always tried to do whatever job to the best of my abilities. It's how I approach this one. I am the man in possession of this seat right now and I will give everything I've got to be successful. We'll leave no stone unturned to try and bring success to this club.
"The chants aren't helpful. I've been in the business a very long time and I don't think anyone can say or write anything about me that hasn't already been said. We do it because we love football and want to do it. I still love football, going to games, watching the boys training and matchdays.
"As long as I feel that, I'll always do it. It's not helpful [when you hear the chants] but I'm only interested in the players on the pitch and how it will affect them. I've got broad shoulders and always manage to live with what has been said before.
"I bet I'm the only manager in the Premier League who's not had a single player knock on my door on a Friday and say: 'Why am I not in the team?' Nobody's done anything wrong here. If I could go back six months, I'd still sign the same players, the ones who have left, bar two, I wanted them out of the door. Training maybe we should have moved to the academy sooner but we've done that now. There's not too much I would change here.
"Lady luck has decided it's not for us at this moment in time. It's not the time your head blows off your shoulders but it's time for everyone to stick together and what can you do but work harder?"