Dyer reveals illness woe

Newcastle United midfielder Kieron Dyer has revealed the extent of the illness.

Newcastle United midfielder Kieron Dyer has revealed the extent of the illness that has hampered his season.

The 27-year-old midfielder made a successful return to first-team action last Saturday by scoring Newcastle's winner on their 1-0 FA Cup home victory over Championship side Southampton.

It was the former Ipswich Town player's first start since late August, with the England international missing more than five months of action with a combination of hamstring and health problems.

Despite speculation that his lifestyle was contributing to his health problems, Dyer insisted that was never the case.

"Of course, I've been terribly depressed and close to tears many times," Dyer said in an interview with the Newcastle Evening Chronicle.

"It's been hell and on occasions seemed never-ending - but I've always clung to the belief that my career isn't over and that I'll play regularly again.

"To suffer with an illness that affects my hamstrings and general fitness has been a nightmare, a problem on top of a problem.

"This season has been wrecked, it's been a huge chunk out of my career over something I could do nothing about, which is why all the emotion came tumbling out of me when I scored on Saturday.

"I've travelled all over the place, here and abroad, seeking the answer.

"I know about the rumours and they are ridiculous, but what can I do about it?

"The club issued a statement and I have to abide by that - but it's nothing I could have avoided.

"My private life should be respected and remember, it's my career that's suffering.

"The trouble has been that the medication I was taking for my illness adversely affected me physically.

"It slowed down my recovery from any hamstring injury, which for an athlete is killing."

Dyer stated that former Magpies boss Graeme Souness helped him to re-focus on his career when he was struggling for form.

"It's Souness who has rescued my career," Dyer admitted. "I know what the fans think of him, but for me personally, he was great.

"At our first meeting, he pulled me to one side and said: 'I can look in the mirror and know I gave my all as a player. Can you do that?' I didn't think I could.

"He was always on top of me, always keeping a grip, but he got me going and supported me over the thing with Lee Bowyer (last season)."

Meanwhile, Newcastle chairman Freddy Shepherd has denied making quotes regarding speculation that Ottmar Hitzfeld was being considered for the managerial vacancy at St James'.

Shepherd was attributed with quotes in a Sunday newspaper with reacting frostily to speculation that he was to meet with the former Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich manager about becoming Souness's successor.

"I have not spoken to any newspaper about Ottmar Hitzfeld and I am not happy at these quotes which have been attributed to me," Shepherd said.

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