Duff rubbishes rift rumours
By Chris Stanton
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Damien Duff has dismissed talk of a crisis at Newcastle, following a harrowing week.
Damien Duff has dismissed talk of a crisis at Newcastle, following a harrowing week for the club.
Last Saturday's 2-1 home defeat to Fulham brought a stinging rebuke from goalkeeper Shay Given, who described his defence as like that of a pub team.
Despite suggestions of an emerging rift in the Newcastle dressing room, Duff insists the players are fully focused on the task of securing qualification to the Uefa Cup's group stage.
The Magpies meet Levadia Tallinn in Estonia on Thursday afternoon, a match Duff is relishing after all the negative press of the past week.
"I know some people are thinking it might make us fall apart," said Duff.
"But it will just make us stronger.
"There is a great set of lads here and we will all pull together.
"There is a lot of frustration about that. We are all gutted and looking forward to the Uefa Cup game. It can't come quickly enough."
Given's goalkeeping understudy, Steve Harper, also played down suggestions Given's comments have caused unrest among The Magpies.
"Shay has been here a long time and those games are very hard for a goalkeeper because you do not have a lot to do and then concede two disappointing goals that you can do nothing about," said Harper.
"Maybe Shay was a little angry after the game. But we spoke about things on Tuesday morning and there is certainly no problem among the lads.
"If Shay made a mistake, he would be the first person to hold his hand up.
"These things are said and what we talk about in the dressing room stays in the dressing room.
"But there is not a problem in the dressing room as far as everyone is concerned."