Boss backs brave Babayaro
By Chris Harvey
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Glenn Roeder paid tribute to Celestine Babayaro after the Liverpool win.
Newcastle boss Glenn Roeder paid tribute to defender Celestine Babayaro who overcame personal tragedy to help his side to a 2-1 win over Liverpool.
Nigerian international Babayaro lost his brother to a long-term illness just hours before kick-off but insisted on taking his place in the starting line-up.
The Magpies wore black armbands to mark the full-back's loss.
"I took a phone call from Celestine Babayaro around midnight last night telling me he'd lost his younger brother," Roeder told Sky Sports.
"He decided he would play today and that showed tremendous courage. His brother had been suffering from tuberculosis but after speaking to his older brothers he decided he wanted to play because that is what his brother would have wanted."
Roeder was delighted to secure three points against a Liverpool side who have been on a good run of late.
"It's a fantastic result," he said. "Overall I thought it was deserved. It was a fantastic effort by all the lads. We had to withstand a couple of nervy moments in the first half but in the second half we were tremendous and showed great battling qualities."
The Magpies' boss also praised striker Obafemi Martins whose first half goal allowed Newcastle back into the game after withstanding an onslaught from the visitors.
The summer signing from Inter Milan capitalised on a mix-up in the Liverpool defence to grab the equaliser.
"Martins showed determination to close the ball down. It was only his persistence chasing a ball he had no right to win that made that happen and I'm pleased for him.
"To come from behind against a Liverpool team who are flying at the moment it just shows the determination in our squad."