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For Football Manager 2010

Manager Nation England League - Team Newcastle United Seasons 5

May 24th 2009

1500: It's been another remarkable season of football in the Premier League this year. The season has seen plenty of remarkable stories and performances for all of the divisions 20 teams, and memories that will last a lifetime. But we're still not done, with just 90 minutes left between now and the end of the campaign. There are still things to be decided, with four teams living in fear of following West Bromwich Albion out of the Premier League for another year.

1505: After 37 rounds of the top flight, Sunderland and Hull City are still in the driving seat, with Newcastle United and Middlesbrough set to fall down. While the Teeside club look doomed to relegation after 11 years in the Premier League, they still very much live in hope. In contrast, Sunderland are in the driving seat, knowing they can lose and still remain a top flight club, although they will not want to take any chances against Chelsea.

1509: The hub of the action seems to concern Hull and Newcastle. The Tigers will look back on 08-09 with fondness even if they do go down. Their first top flight season in 104 years saw a remarkable first half of the campaign where they sat in the top 6 in November and registered away victories at Newcastle, Arsenal and Spurs, as well as taking a point away from Liverpool and losing out by the odd goal in seven at Old Trafford. But an equally remarkable collapse of form sees them here today, with victory over Fulham in March their only victory since December. They know victory over Man U today will secure survival, but they have to be wary today.

1513: Newcastle will look back on 2008-09 with something approaching disdain regardless of today. The resignation of Kevin Keegan following the end of the transfer window, and general upheaval and chaos, means the Toon Army will be glad to see the back of this season. But they'll be hopeful that Alan Shearer can lead the team to a final miracle that can keep them in the top flight and prolong their 16-year-long spell in the English top tier.

1517: The stakes for Magpies and Tigers fans are simple. Newcastle must better Hull's result to stay up. Defeat for Newcastle will ensure relegation, while Hull victory means Newcastle can only stay up if they win and Sunderland lose.

1520: Relegation is not the only issue yet to be decided. Everton and Aston Villa are still vying for fifth position, while the final European place is up for grabs between Fulham and Spurs.

1522: Final team news of the campaign. Starting with the game at Anfield where Liverpool are playing Spurs.

1523: Liverpool v Tottenham line-ups
Reina, Carragher, Agger, Skrtel, Aurelio, Mascherano, Alonso, Kuyt, Gerrard, Benayoun, Torres.
Subs: Cavalieri, Hyypia, Riera, Lucas, Insua, Ngog, Degen.
Tottenham: Gomes, Hutton, Corluka, King, Assou-Ekotto, Modric, Zokora, Jenas, Bale, Defoe, Keane.
Subs: Cudicini, Bentley, Pavlyuchenko, Bent, Gunter, Campbell, Chimbonda.
Referee: Peter Walton (Northamptonshire)

1526: Fulham v Everton line-ups
Schwarzer, Pantsil, Hughes, Hangeland, Konchesky, Dempsey, Murphy, Etuhu, Gera, Nevland, Kamara.
Subs: Zuberbuhler, Zamora, Dacourt, Gray, Stoor, Baird, Smalling.
Everton: Howard, Hibbert, Yobo, Lescott, Baines, Neville, Cahill, Rodwell, Pienaar, Osman, Saha.
Subs: Nash, Castillo, Jo, Vaughan, Jacobsen, Fellaini, Gosling.
Referee: Mike Riley (Yorkshire)

1529: Aston Villa v Newcastle line-ups
Aston Villa:
Friedel, Gardner, Davies, Cuellar, Shorey, Milner, Petrov, Barry, Ashley Young, Carew, Agbonlahor.
Subs: Guzan, Sidwell, Delfouneso, Knight, Heskey, Reo-Coker, Albrighton.
Newcastle: Harper, Coloccini, Steven Taylor, Edgar, Duff, Guthrie, Nolan, Butt, Lovenkrands, Viduka, Martins.
Subs: Krul, Jose Enrique, Owen, Smith, Gutierrez, Ameobi, Ryan Taylor.
Referee: Chris Foy (Merseyside)

1532: Manchester City v Bolton line-ups
Man City:
Given, Richards, Onuoha, Dunne, Bridge, De Jong, Ireland, Kompany, Wright-Phillips, Caicedo, Robinho.
Subs: Hart, Zabaleta, Bojinov, Petrov, Mwaruwari, Berti, Weiss.
Bolton: Jaaskelainen, Steinsson, Cahill, Shittu, Samuel, Mark Davies, Muamba, McCann, Taylor, Elmander, Kevin Davies.
Subs: Al Habsi, Hunt, Riga, Puygrenier, Cohen, Basham, Andrew O'Brien.
Referee: Mark Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear)

1535: Wigan v Portsmouth line-ups
Kingson, Melchiot, Boyce, Bramble, Figueroa, Valencia, Cattermole, Brown, N'Zogbia, De Ridder, Rodallega.
Subs: Pollitt, Edman, Cho, Watson, Kupisz, Routledge, McManaman.
Portsmouth: Begovic, Kaboul, Campbell, Distin, Hreidarsson, Pennant, Hughes, Mullins, Traore, Utaka, Crouch.
Subs: Ashdown, Primus, Thomas, Pamarot, Cranie, Kanu, Basinas.
Referee: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire)

1538: Sunderland v Chelsea line-ups
Fulop, Bardsley, Davenport, Ferdinand, Collins, Malbranque, Whitehead, Tainio, Leadbitter, Richardson, Jones.
Subs: Colgan, Edwards, Cisse, Murphy, Reid, Healy, McShane.
Chelsea: Cech, Bosingwa, Ivanovic, Terry, Ashley Cole, Essien, Mikel, Belletti, Malouda, Drogba, Anelka.
Subs: Hilario, Di Santo, Ballack, Sinclair, Kalou, Mancienne, Stoch.
Referee: Mark Halsey (Lancashire)

1541: Blackburn v West Brom line-ups
Robinson, Andrews, Ooijer, Givet, Warnock, Diouf, Kerimoglu, Pedersen, Samba, McCarthy, Grella.
Subs: Bunn, Khizanishvili, Mokoena, Villanueva, Treacy, Olsson, Roberts.
West Brom: Kiely, Zuiverloon, Donk, Olsson, Robinson, Koren, Borja Valero, Greening, Brunt, Menseguez, Fortune.
Subs: Carson, Kim, Moore, Simpson, Downing, Sawyers, Wood.
Referee: Mike Jones (Cheshire)

1543: West Ham v Middlesbrough line-ups
West Ham:
Green, Spector, Neill, Upson, Ilunga, Noble, Kovac, Collison, Boa Morte, Cole, Stanislas.
Subs: Lastuvka, Lopez, Dyer, Nsereko, Tristan, Di Michele, Payne.
Middlesbrough: Jones, McMahon, Wheater, Huth, Hoyte, O'Neil, Bates, Arca, Adam Johnson, Sanli, Emnes.
Subs: Turnbull, Shawky, Bennett, Franks, Williams, Grounds, Walker.
Referee: Howard Webb (S Yorkshire)

1545: Arsenal v Stoke line-ups
Mannone, Sagna, Toure, Song Billong, Gibbs, Diaby, Fabregas, Denilson, Arshavin, van Persie, Walcott.
Subs: Szczesny, Vela, Ramsey, Silvestre, Djourou, Bendtner, Eboue.
Stoke: Simonsen, Wilkinson, Shawcross, Abdoulaye Faye, Dickinson, Lawrence, Diao, Whelan, Delap, Beattie, Fuller.
Subs: Sorensen, Olofinjana, Cresswell, Pugh, Kelly, Tonge, Sonko.
Referee: Martin Atkinson (W Yorkshire).

1549: Hull City v Manchester United line-ups
Myhill, Ricketts, Turner, Kilbane, Dawson, Garcia, Marney, Boateng, Barmby, Geovanni, Fagan.
Subs: Duke, Hughes, Mendy, Halmosi, Folan, Zayatte, Cousin.
Man Utd: Kuszczak, Rafael Da Silva, Neville, Brown, De Laet, Nani, Fletcher, Gibson, Welbeck, Martin, Macheda.
Subs: Amos, Tosic, Possebon, Eckersley, Corry Evans, Drinkwater, James.
Referee: Alan Wiley (Staffordshire)

1553: The stadiums up and down the land are buzzing with anticipation. They know that, for the final time for a few months at least, the teams are about to take to the field. Some big stories still to be written for the fans of everyone club, not least the quartet divided by 99 miles fighting for their very Premier League lives.

1559: The teams have emerged and we're about to go for the final day of the season 2008-2009.

1601: Here we go.

1603: Fabricio Coloccini does well to deal with the pace of Gabby Agbonlahor, who, moments later, heads over from six yards. Nervy times already for Newcastle.

1604: Michael Essien heads a corner wide for Chelsea at Sunderland. A Hull corner causes Man Utd problems, too. Tense beginnings.

1605: Louis Saha hits the Fulham crossbar with a header for Everton. Remember, it's just Fulham and Tottenham who are vying for seventh and the last Uefa Europa League place.

1611: GOAL
Manchester City 1-0 Bolton

Robinho's quickly-taken free-kick finds Stephen Ireland, his chip is clipped across the six-yard box by Micah Richards and Felipe Caicedo taps in from close-range.

1612: Newcastle's Damien Duff cuts in from the left and fires a low right-footed shot at goal from the edge of the area that Brad Friedel clumsily shovels behind. The Magpies look to be settling after a nervy opening and moments later Carlos Cuellar clears off the line from Steven Taylor.

1614: GOAL
Arsenal 1-0 Stoke

Arsenal's short corner is fired across the goalline by Cesc Fabregas and James Beattie accidentally diverts it into his own net.

1615: Mark Viduka flicks the ball on and Newcastle striker Obafemi Martins volleys wildly over from 10 yards. They've got to take one of these chances while they're on top. The manager would've fair buried it.

GOAL: Arsenal 2-0 Stoke

Arsenal double their lead early on after Ryan Shawcross fouls Robin van Persie and the Dutchman slots in the penalty himself.

1620: Nani's free-kick slaps into the gloves of Boaz Myhill at Hull. Steve Harper saves from Craig Gardner at Villa.

1621: GOAL
Arsenal 3-0 Stoke

The Gunners ending their season with a first half flourish against a flaky Potters defence already safe. Goals don't get much more simple as Robin van Persie swings over a cross and Abou Diaby heads in his fourth goal of the season.

1622: Middlesbrough need goals to have any hope of survival but their second kick of the day has flown into the laps of the supporters. Nerves are jangling. Highlights so far - a crunching Luis Boa Morte tackle and Junior Stanislas crashing a shot against the Boro crossbar.

1624: The game at Villa Park is more end-to-end than a Wimbledon tennis final at the moment as Newcastle keeper Steve Harper does well to get Stiliyan Petrov's cross away off the toes of Gareth Barry six yards out.

1626: GOAL
Hull City 0-1 Manchester United

Supposedly a reserve team out tonight, but Manchester United take the lead in fantastic style. Darron Gibson picks the ball up 35 yards out and unleashes a right-foot screamer that flies into the top, far corner. Incredible hit.

1627: As news of that goal filtered through to Villa Park, the Newcastle fans went crazy.

1628: GOAL
Wigan 1-0 Portsmoouth
Charles N'Zogbia drives down the Wigan left and fires a ball across the six-yard box, which Sol Campbell completely misses, allowing Hugo Rodallega to tap into an empty net.

1630: Juliano Belletti has to go off injured for Chelsea and midfielder Michael Ballack replaces him.

Arsenal 3-1 Stoke
Denilson brings down Ricardo Fuller inside the Arsenal box and the striker slots it past Vito Mannone to make the score a bit more respectable.

1635: GOAL
Liverpool 1-0 Tottenham

Liverpool break the deadlock in a dull match at Anfield as Fernando Torres rises between two Tottenham defenders to head home the cross from Dirk Kuyt off the underside of the crossbar.

1636: GOAL
West Ham 1-0 Middlesbrough

The Boro defence are all over the place as Carlton Cole side-foots home past Brad Jones following fine work from Luis Boa Morte down the left. That is why they're going down.

1639: GOAL
Aston Villa 1-0 Newcastle

Gareth Barry picks the ball up 40 yards out and hits a tame shot that is going nowhere - until Damien Duff sticks out his right foot and sends it spinning past Steve Harper.

1640: Newcastle were safe for all of 13 minutes from when Gibson scored for Man United and Duff's unfortunate own goal at Villa Park. As long as Hull are losing, one more goal will keep the Magpies in the Premier League. But time is running out.

1641: Danny Wellbeck nods on a long goal-kick and Federico Macheda works space in the area before dragging his shot only inches wide. Hull are rocking, while Man United's youngsters are growing in confidence.

1642: John Carew drives into the Newcastle box and his cross is diverted agonisingly wide by Gabby Agbonlahor. Another Villa goal and Newcastle's mountain will stand taller.

1645: GOAL
Arsenal 4-1 Stoke

A rampant Arsenal display continues, albeit aided by awful Stoke defending. Rory Delap's header back to Thomas Sorensen is woefully short and Robin van Persie chests it down and volleys it home from 12 yards.

1646: GOAL
Fulham 0-1 Everton

Everton go ahead - and there's hope for Spurs is the race for seventh. The brilliant Steven Pienaar slips in Leon Osman, who beats the offside trap and goes around Mark Schwarzer before slotting in from an angle.

1648: Florent Malouda slams a left-foot shot against the Sunderland crossbar after a lovely pass from Jon Mikel Obi. It's half-time now at the Stadium or Light and at West Ham.

1649: In the dying moments of the first half at Villa Park, Newcastle striker Obafemi Martins rose unmarked 12 yards out to meet a long free-kick, but he steered his header wide. It's half-time at Hull City and at Aston Villa now. Alan Shearer and Gareth Southgate face a very big 15 minutes.

1650: The other games have reached the halfway mark too.

1653: As it stands, the big issues will end the way they started, with Middlesbrough and Newcastle being relegated, Everton taking 5th and Fulham finishing in that final European spot.

1701: Remember, that if Newcastle score - and Hull lose - then the Magpies will be safe. One goal might be all Alan Shearer's men require. Can they do it?

1704: The players are coming out again, across England. Boro are gone, so this is about Hull, Newcastle and Sunderland for the remaining place. Someone, at some stage, is going to have to show that they really want to stay in the Premier League. Because they haven't so far.

1705: For the final time this season, we're underway. Can everything change in the final 45 minutes?

1706: GOAL
Sunderland 0-1 Chelsea

That's a blow for the Black Cats, but what a goal. Nicolas Anelka ensures he will finish above Cristiano Ronaldo in the race for the Golden Boot, running from inside his own half and lashing a wonderful 25-yarder into the top corner. Stunning strike.

1708: So, all four teams who were threatened with relegation are now losing. As they have been doing for quite a while, it seems.

1710: GOAL
West Ham 1-1 Middlesbrough

Gary O'Neil crashes in his fourth goal of the season to give Boro a glimmer of hope, blasting in 15 yards out from the right after good work from Tuncay.

1712: GOAL
Sunderland 1-1 Chelsea

Grant Leadbitter's cross from the left is missed by Petr Cech, who was under pressure from Kenwyne Jones, and Kieran Richardson takes advantage to drill in a leveller. Breathing space restored for Sunderland.

1714: Ashley Young is threatening to put Newcastle to bed at Villa Park, first forcing Steve Harper to tip over direct from a corner and then curling inches wide when well placed on the edge of the area.

1715: It's gamble number one for Hull boss Phil Brown, with Caleb Folan coming on for Geovanni.

1716: Newcastle's managerial trio of Shearer, Iain Dowie and Chris Hughton are deep in conversation. We could well be seeing a few changes for the Magpies eleven in a few ticks.

1718: GOAL
West Ham 2-1 Middlesbrough

It's a disaster for Brad Jones and Gareth Southgate knows their fate is just about sealed. Junior Stanislas hits a shot from 20 yards that doesn't have much power, but creeps under Jones' attempted save. Shocker.

1719: Jose Enrique is on for Peter Lovenkrands at Villa and Newcastle sub Michael Owen is warming up.

1723: GOAL
Liverpool 2-0 Tottenham

Liverpool double their lead over Spurs, as Dirk Kuyt plays a one-two with Yossi Benayoun and his shot is deflected off Alan Hutton into the visitors' goal. It may go down as a Hutton own goal but that's one for the dubious goal's panel.

1727: Last throw of the Geordie dice - Alan Shearer throws on Michael Owen for Kevin Nolan. Can Owen be the new Messiah?

Jason Roberts (Blackburn)

That looks a bit harsh on first replay, might need to see it again. The striker is sent off for an alleged elbow, but didn't look to be much in it.

1731: Newcastle are looking every inch the weary relegation-threatened side they are right now and Gareth Barry almost doubles Villa's lead when he curls inches wide. But, while it's still only 1-0...

1733: GOAL
Sunderland 1-2 Chelsea
Salomon Kalou
picks up a half-clearance on the edge of the box and rifles a right-foot shot past Marton Fulop in the Sunderland goal. They're not out of it yet.

1735: Richard Eckersley plays a nice-one two at Hull and curls a right-foot shot just wide from the edge of the box. United still look more likely to score.

1737: GOAL
Liverpool 2-1 Tottenham

Spurs narrow the deficit at Anfield as former Reds striker Robbie Keane springs the offside trap and has an age to beat Pepe Reina. Stony silence from The Kop.

1740: That was Villa's chance to relegate Newcastle. Gabby Agbonlahor's cross finds John Carew at the back post as Steven Taylor slips, but the Norwegian doesn't make contact. Villa should have put them away by now - can Newcastle have the last laugh?

1741: GOAL
Liverpool 3-1 Tottenham
Yossi Benayoun
makes sure of the win for the hosts as he shrugs off Ledley King's challenge to sidefoot past the advancing Heurelho Gomes.

1744: Steven Gerrard curls a free-kick inches wide and Sami Hyypia comes on to a resounding standing ovation from the Anfield faithful. He takes the armband as the Finnish defender comes on for his final appearance for the red half of Merseyside.

1745: GOAL
Sunderland 1-3 Chelsea

Sunderland have a shout for a penalty waved away and Chelsea go up the other end, Florent Malouda having a shot blocked and Ashley Cole firing in the rebound - with his right foot. It's like the last day of term, isn't it?

1747: GOAL
Fulham 0-2 Everton

Game over - and another exceptional goal from Leon Osman, who skips past two Fulham defender and spanks a shot into the far corner from 20 yards. Lovely stuff.

1748: Almost salvation from the unlikeliest of sources for Newcastle as Jose Enrique's wayward cross creeps inches past the Aston Villa upright. Five minutes left in that match.

1749: GOAL
Sunderland 2-3 Chelsea

Andy Reid swings over a left-footed cross from the right wing and Kenwyne Jones is there to head it past Petr Cech and into the Chelsea net.

1750: Sami Hyypia is so close to a farewell goal in front of the Kop, but his header is cleared off the line. Hull have four minutes of injury time left, Newcastle have four minutes too.

1752: Shola Ameobi heads a Jose Enrique cross over. Newcastle are finally getting the ball in the box but are they leaving it too late?

1753: We've had full-times at Blackburn, Fulham, Liverpool, Man City and Sunderland.

David Edgar (Newcastle)

The young Magpies defender is shown a second yellow for a foul on Ashley Young. They are still playing, with two minutes to go.

1755: GOAL
Aston Villa 1-1 Newcastle

Just as salvation seemed to have fatally eluded the Magpies, they get the latest of late goals to secure their Premier League status. A cross from Jose Enrique is only half cleared to Damien Duff, and the Irishman's angled drive flies past Friedel to secure unlikely survival for the North East club.

1756: There's no time left to restart things at Villa Park. Its all over and Newcastle are staying up with a late goal when they seemed dead and buried. Meanwhile, at the KC Stadium, Phil Brown and the Tigers faithful is absolutely gobsmacked. Just as it seemed that his team were about to confirm their second season in the Premier League, it ends here and Hull City's first top flight campaign in 104 years ends in relegation.


1758: Alan Shearer and his players celebrate en masse with their supporters. They will next be together in the Premier League in August - but how many of these players will still be at the club then? Shearer of course is not the permanent manager on Tyneside, and it remains to be seen which players may still be hankering for a transfer out of St James' Park.

1800: Its never nice to see fans and players crying but there's plenty of scenes of it at the KC Stadium. They were within a whisper of grabbing that final Premier League safety place and now they're gone. Middlesbrough fans also look dejected, although their safety was always a long shot even before today. By contrast, Sunderland fans are delighted they will be remaining in the top flight after their own chaotic season.

1802: So, to clarify: Manchester United are champions, Liverpool and Chelsea have qualified for the Champions League group stages for 2009-10, and Arsenal will have a qualifying round to join them. Everton, Aston Villa and Fulham will play in the UEFA Europa League. West Bromwich Albion, Middlesbrough and Hull City are relegated to the Championship, while Newcastle United and Sunderland will remain in the top tier for another year at least.

1809: What a day it has been. Especially for Sunderland fans, who were able to maintain their safety even in defeat, and Newcastle, who have won once in their last 13 games and genuinely looked doomed just 2 minutes from the finale.

1813: That's it for the 2008-09 season and after a belting final day I think its time to wrap up. Reaction to all the games results will follow here. I think we all need a lie down after such entertainment. Match of the Day will be on BBC One at 2220 this evening, and we will return in August.
noir et blanc armée

Read my FM Career A Little Bit Of History Changing

Aston Villa 1-1 Newcastle
Page last updated on May 24th 2009, 18:03 UK

Damien Duff scored at both ends as Newcastle secured Premier League survival with a very late draw against Aston Villa.

The Irishman's unfortunate own goal - deflecting in Gareth Barry's 20-yard shot seven minutes before the interval - made it look like Alan Shearer's mission to save Newcastle from relegation was set to end in devastating failure.

Minutes before referee Chris Foy blew the whistle on Newcastle's Premier League existence, defender David Edgar was handed a red card when he was sent off for his second bookable offence after fouling Ashley Young.

But just as all hope seemed lost for the men from the North East, an angled drive from Duff flew beyond Villa goalkeeper Brad Friedel to secure survival and ensure Newcastle's Premier League stint will move into a 17th year.

Newcastle had opportunites to grasp at a lifeline in the first half, with Obafemi Martins firing off target and Mark Viduka having a shot cleared off the line by Carlos Cuellar.

But when Newcastle needed to find inspiration in the second half, all that was on offer was an almost passive acceptance of their decline as they failed to exert any serious pressure on Villa - at times seeming barely aware of the fate that awaited them if they lost.

The Magpies' performance was a prime example of why they have struggled this season, lacking any fire and urgency. For vast portions of the second half, it looked as if a passionless and surprisingly terrible second half display would be the Magpies' unravelling.

Michael Owen made an appearance as substitute midway through the second half, but he made no impact and barely touched the ball. Although the club survived, his future remains unclear.

Shearer led the applause for Newcastle's elated fans as the realisation of survival sunk in, and owner Mike Ashley must now try to persuade Shearer to stay on and provide some semblance of stability to this most dysfunctional of clubs as they attempt to rebuild and reclaim their place in English football's elite.

Despite survival, Newcastle's hierarchy must now indulge in serious soul-searching after a season that saw Kevin Keegan's reign as manager end in acrimony and Joe Kinnear's surprise temporary appointment, which ended prematurely after he suffered health problems. Chris Hughton and Colin Calderwood could not stop the rot, and it required goal difference and an astonishing loss of form for Hull to stay in the Premier League.

Shearer's side were lively in attack during the opening exchanges. Villa keeper Friedel almost let Duff's deflected shot slip in and Cuellar smuggled Viduka's goal-bound shot off the line as Newcastle pressed for an early breakthrough.

Martins also volleyed over the top when he found space 12 yards out in the penalty area, with boss Shearer showing obvious frustration on the sidelines as another chance came and went.

Newcastle, however, were nowhere near as convincing at the back and Fabricio Coloccini was regularly threatened with embarrassment by Gabriel Agbonlahor's raw pace. Craig Gardner brought a fine fingertip save from Steve Harper before Villa took the lead seven minutes before the interval, helped by a liberal sprinkling of good fortune.

Barry's shot was struck with power, but it was a crucial deflection off Duff that took it out of the reach of Harper and into the bottom corner of the net.

Newcastle's fans, who were in ecstasy when news of Manchester United's goal at Hull filtered through, were stunned into silence as their Villa counterparts celebrated.

There was still time for another opportunity for Newcastle before the interval, with Martins sending a glancing header just wide from Nicky Butt's free-kick.

Newcastle could not apply any pressure in the early stages of the second half, leaving Shearer to make his first change after 56 minutes. Jose Enrique replaced Peter Lovenkrands, leaving Duff to move forward into a more familiar attacking role on the left-flank.

And Shearer swiftly followed this move with the introduction of Owen, giving the injury-plagued England striker the opportunity to possibly end an unfulfilling spell on Tyneside with a flourish.

Barry then missed the chance that would have condemned Newcastle to Championship football. He robbed Butt 20 yards out, but then sent a curling shot inches wide with Harper helpless.

Newcastle were surprisingly lacking any sense of real urgency, and Shearer played his final card with 20 minutes left by sending on Shola Ameobi for the tiring Viduka.

Carew then contrived to waste another opportunity to finish off Newcastle when he somehow failed to find the target after being set up by Agbonlahor six yards out.

Newcastle, despite the increasing desperation of their situation, were offering nothing and Ashley Young fired just over the top after a powerful run.

Enrique's speculative cross almost spared Newcastle in the dying seconds - but it drifted agonisingly wide.

But moments before Foy was due to blow his whistle, one final push from the Magpies saw the ball fall to Enrique, whose half-cleared cross fell to Duff. The Irish winger ran inside and fired a great drive from the edge of the area past Friedel to secure the unlikeliest of survivals.

Aston Villa: Friedel, Gardner (Heskey 75), Davies, Cuellar, Shorey, Milner, Petrov (Reo-Coker 84), Barry, Ashley Young, Carew (Sidwell 89), Agbonlahor.
Subs Not Used: Guzan, Delfouneso, Knight, Albrighton.
Goals: Duff 38 og.

Newcastle: Harper, Coloccini, Steven Taylor, Edgar, Duff, Guthrie, Nolan (Owen 66), Butt, Lovenkrands (Jose Enrique 57), Viduka (Ameobi 75), Martins.
Goals: Duff 90
Subs Not Used: Krul, Smith, Gutierrez, Ryan Taylor.
Sent Off: Edgar (90).
Booked: Steven Taylor, Edgar.

Att: 42,585

Ref: Chris Foy (Merseyside).

BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match: Aston Villa's Gareth Barry 7.09 (on 90 minutes).
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Shearer non-committal over future
Page last updated on May 25th 2009, 09:19 UK

Alan Shearer shied away from answering questions over his future as Newcastle manager after a draw at Aston Villa resulted in his side staying up.

The 1-1 draw means the Magpies, who ended the season on 35 points, will play in the Premier League next season after staying up on goal difference.

Shearer, 38, is set to meet Newcastle owner Mike Ashley this week.

"I'll speak to the owner and say what I think has gone right and wrong but now is not the time to discuss my future," said Shearer.

The result was only Newcastle's fifth point under Shearer, who took the role on a temporary basis in April with incumbent boss Joe Kinnear suffering from health issues.

His appointment was hailed as a masterstroke by many Newcastle fans, who consider the former England international a hero in the north east following a sensational playing career that included 10 years at St James' Park but the club won only five points out of a possible 24 under his command.

Although Shearer has managed his ultimate goal of keeping Newcastle in the Premier League, he accepted the fact the team have had a poor season and much needs to change for next year.

"You can point the finger at me, at Joe Kinnear, at the players, at Mike Ashley but it really just comes down to the fact that we weren't good enough this season nor the season before and you can go back over a number of years and it's the same," added Shearer.

"We are delighted to have avoided relegation. It was of vital importance we kept ourselves in the Premier League as the Championship can be a troubling division to get out of. You only need to look at the big names that have gone down and not returned and we know we couldn't take chances.

"I can't fault the players for their effort, the simple fact is we just weren't good enough to have been clear of this situation."

Shearer's position remains uncertain, with Kinnear contracted as manager for the next two years and the former England international thought to have agreed to manage the club only until the summer.

And when asked about his and the club's future, he added: "This club needs big changes, that is there for all to see.

"This is a fantastic football club, with amazing support, but it needs a hell of a lot of hard work for whoever comes in. It needs totally rebuilding.

"I was shocked at the state of the club when I came in. I was aware of mistakes that had been made. There are huge problems at the club. They are there for everyone to see.

"What we need is a time of calm and for us to get our thoughts together, see what mistakes have been made before deciding where we go from here.

"I know everyone wants to know what I am going to do. You won't believe me when I say I have not had time to really think about it.

"But we need to have the meeting sooner rather than later and make decisions. Those guys have some major decisions to make. There are millions of questions to be answered. I will give them my thoughts but they might not ask me to be the manager."

The club's managing director Derek Llambias is also keen to draw up plans and said he hoped to confirm arrangements for next season over the coming days.

In a statement on the official Newcastle United website, Llambias said "Mike (Ashley, the owner) and I will sit down with Alan this week to discuss how the club moves forward again, and I hope to be able to say more to our supporters later this week.

"We are especially relieved that we have avoided relegation, which would be a disastrous scenario for all concerned with Newcastle United.

"Nevertheless we accept things have gone especially badly over the course of this campaign. We will ensure we attempt to get this club back on its feet and ensure we avoid repeating the horrendous mistakes that led to us staring down the barrel of demotion."
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Brown: We will try to return as quickly as possible
Page last updated on May 25th 2009, 15:29 UK

Phil Brown has pledged he will try to lead Hull City back to the Premier League as quickly as possible.

A 1-0 defeat for the Tigers coupled with a 1-1 draw for Newcastle away at Aston Villa meant that Hull City's first top flight campaign in 104 years ended in relegation.

A catastrophic run of just one win in 22 games at the end of the 2008-09 season sealed their fate.

Brown, who turns 50 at the weekend, said he was dejected to go down but they will try to bounce back at the first attempt.

He said, "Obviously we were devastated that survival was within our grasp and then out again.

"At the end of the day, we finished in the bottom three. We finished there by the slimmest of margins, but we still finished there and we have to accept the fact we just didn't have enough to preserve our top flight place.

"I am obviously gutted at the way our season has ended. Nevertheless, we cannot afford to dwell on what may have been.

"Next season we will be back in the Championship and the fact we have previously won promotion and have had games where we proved our Premier League worth means that we will be inspired, hopefully, to try and get our team back amongst the top flight, where I feel we need to be."

Hull's demotion was almost averted thanks to the woeful form of Newcastle and Middlesbrough as much as it would have been through their own performances.

The Tigers had began in fine form by taking 20 points from their opening nine Premier League games, but they only picked up a miserly eight points out of their final 22 matches.

In the end, that form would prove crucial as Hull went down on goal difference.

Hull chairman Paul Duffen insisted he was proud of his players as they seek to rebuild next season.

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, Duffen said, "We came in and we were written off along with Stoke."

"We were obviously going to have a lightweight squad because we were a newly promoted side.

"What we lacked in outright quality we had to make up for in blood, guts and commitment but we displayed that many times over the year.

"Although we ended in relegation by the finest of margins, we knew it was a risk when we arrived on the final day in that position.

"We have many fantastic memories we can take from this season, and those memories will stand us in good stead as we seek to earn our way back into this league.

"Me, Phil and the other members of the Hull City managerial staff and board will sit down this week sometime and we will discuss what we need to do in order to get ourselves back into the top flight as quickly as possible.

"I also want to thank the Hull City fans. Throughout this campaign they have been magnificent home and away."
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Erm, before I go on, I'm having a problem... the FM10 editor is saying "Unable to find default database. Please make sure installation is not corrupt." Any way to resolve this without re-installing?

This will go ahead. But I may have to re-install FM10 if I have to.
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Alright, editor is working fine so the show is back on the road.

I'll sump up transfers for Hull here. In summer 2009 they signed Steven Mouyokolo, Seyi Olofinjana, Kamel Ghilas, Stephen Hunt, Paul McShane and Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink, plus Jozy Altidore on loan.

Some of these details would not be practical for a team relegated. Olofinjana - £3M transfer fee and £30K a week wages - is the big one, so I am going to retain him at Stoke City for the moment. Altidore is a no go, while I think Stephen Hunt and Mouyokolo can move direct to Wolves as this mirrors transfers the duo made when Hull were relegated in 2010.

In this, they will retain Ghilas, McShane and Vennegoor of Hesselink, who are low cost or swap deals.

As for the Toon Army, I'm thinking as to who would leave.
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Shearer confirmed as assistant manager
Page last updated on May 29th 2009, 15:16 UK

Newcastle United have confirmed Alan Shearer as their new assistant manager.

The 38 year old, who is Newcastle's record goalscorer and kept them in the Premier League, has confirmed he will be retained as part of a re-modelling of the backroom set up at St. James' Park.

Shearer has also confirmed he will act as caretaker manager until a new permanent manager is appointed by the Tyneside club, which is expected before pre-season training starts in 5 weeks time.

Shearer said: "Having helped keep Newcastle United in the Premier League I knew that I wanted to remain involved with the set up. It's a great club that has lost its way but having helped lead it to survival last year, I wanted to be involved in the process to fix things back up.

"During proceedings, I met with the board about what they wanted to do to help Newcastle United. During our time, we agreed that a new manager should be involved within the remodelled set up. I'm happy to work with the new man at the helm and I trust the club will appoint the right individual that can lead this club to brighter days."

Shearer would not confirm the name of the new manager, but said the club had been in talks with a number of candidates to take the hot seat at St. James' Park.

The statement was also confirmed by the club's managerial director Derek Llambias.

In a statement on the club's official website, he said: "We are very happy to have kept Alan on in some capacity at St. James' Park. His fine work in keeping us afloat and his ideas have helped us out greatly, and I am happy to keep him on board.

"We have begun discussions for the new manager at St. James' Park and we are making good progress."

The club would not be drawn on the future of the team's players, with the club reportedly negotiating the sale of players. The future of chairman Mike Ashley is also unconfirmed, amid reports he is still interested in selling the club despite survival and the move to restructure the team management ahead of the new season.
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Newcastle confirm Cacapa and Viduka release
Page last updated on June 3rd 2009, 15:16 UK

Newcastle United have confirmed defender Claudio Cacapa and striker Mark Viduka will be released by the club at the end of their contracts.

The club have elected not to extend the contracts of the Brazilian defender and Australian striker, which expire in a few weeks time and ensures that both players will leave the club after two year stints with the club.

In a brief statement, the club said: "We would like to thank Mark and Claudio for their services at Newcastle United. Unfortunately, we have decided these players are surplus to requirements at St. James' Park and they will be allowed to find new clubs."

Viduka joined on a free transfer from Middlesbrough in 2007. He was the first signing of the Mike Ashley era at St. James' Park. He scored seven goals in 40 appearances over two seasons.

The Australian, 33, has been in England since joining Leeds United from Celtic in 2000 for £6million. He scored 72 goals in 166 matches for the Yorkshire side but left for Middlesbrough in 2004 following the Whites' relegation.

Cacapa moved to the North East in the same window as Viduka, as he joined following the expiry of his contract with French team Lyon. He made 29 appearances for the club and scored twice, but his career struggled after a calamitous display against Portsmouth in November 2007.

He did not make a single appearance after December and has opted to leave. It is likely that he will return to Brazil.

Newcastle have confirmed they have made progress to sign their next manager and will make an announcement later this week.
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Manchester United confirm Owen deal
Page last updated on June 5th 2009, 13:48 UK

Michael Owen will make a surprise move to Manchester United after the free agent signed a two-year deal with the Premier League champions.

The 29-year-old ex-Liverpool and Real Madrid striker's contract with Newcastle is due to end at the end of the month, and Owen has agreed to make the move to Old Trafford after rejecting a new contract at St. James' Park.

"Michael is a world-class forward with a proven goalscoring record at the highest level," said United boss Sir Alex Ferguson.

Owen had also been linked with Everton, Aston Villa and Stoke.

But instead he becomes United's second summer signing after the recent addition of Antonio Valencia from Wigan.

"Coming to Manchester United with the expectations that we have is something that Michael will relish," added Ferguson.

Owen said United's interest in him came as a surprise, adding: "I had just begun to talk to other clubs when out of the blue Sir Alex phoned me on Wednesday afternoon, invited me to have breakfast with him next morning during which he told me that he wanted to sign me.

"I agreed without a moment's thought. This is a fantastic opportunity for me and I intend to seize it with both hands.

"I am now looking forward to being a Manchester United player and I am fortunate that I already know so many of the players here.

"I want to thank Sir Alex for the faith he has shown in me and I give him my assurance that I will repay him with my goals and performances."

Owen had checks on an old knee injury in London on Thursday before undergoing a full medical at the private Bridgewater Hospital in Manchester on Friday.

He has been plagued by injuries in recent seasons, suffering with groin, ankle, thigh, hernia, metatarsal and knee ligament problems.

The 2001 European footballer of the year has dropped out of the England squad, but a move to United gives Owen the chance to revitalise his career, even if it involved accepting a lower basic salary.

It was reported by the Press Association that Ferguson has struck a pay-as-you-play deal, with the player also taking a significant salary cut from the £110,000-a-week wages he was said to be on at St James' Park.

Ferguson has been a long time admirer of Michael Owen and has decided to gamble on the striker who has proven himself a prolific scorer at both club and international level when fit.

Since losing the Champions League final to Barcelona at the end of May, Manchester United have sold forward Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid for £80m and failed to persuade striker Carlos Tevez to stay at Old Trafford.

Owen made 79 appearances for the Magpies and scored 30 goals in four seasons at St James' Park.

But an ankle injury and groin operation severely disrupted his final year at the club, with the last of his 10 league goals for the 2008-09 campaign coming against West Ham on 10 January.
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Sven confirmed as Newcastle manager
Page last updated on June 7th 2009, 10:03 UK

Newcastle United have confirmed former England and Manchester City manager Sven-Goran Eriksson as their new manager.

The Swedish manager, 61, has signed a two year contract at St. James' Park, and will take over from Alan Shearer, who will work with Eriksson as his assistant manager.

Eriksson has been out of a job after being sacked by Mexico in early 2009 with the nation struggling to qualify for the World Cup in South Africa next summer.

Eriksson said: "I am delighted to be appointed manager of such a prestigious club. Things have not gone so well for Newcastle in the past few seasons but I feel that we have the players and backing to go places.

"After what happened in Manchester and the harsh way I feel I was sacked, I knew I wanted to return to England at some point. I feel I still have a lot to offer in this game and I feel that I can get the ambitions our fans and board require.

"I followed what happened last season and know things did not pan out to the way everyone was anticipating. But now we are still in the Premier League, the board has shown ambition that we can bounce back to the higher reaches of the division in due course. This is what a club of this size should be aiming for."

This is Eriksson's first job in English football since being sacked by Manchester City in 2008. He had been charge of the Citizens for one season, having been appointed by then-owner Thaksin Shinawatra and spending heavily before leading them to a ninth-place Premier League finish - at the time, the highest finish Manchester City had managed in the Premier League era.

Since then he had a stint as manager of the Mexico national team, but left after ten months in charge.

A statement on the official Newcastle United website said, "We are delighted to have confirmed Sven as our new manager. We have been in talks with him since we were made aware he would be made available for the position, and we are delighted to have him and Alan on board as our new managerial duo.

"We hope this combination will help the club in the long run and we are excited to have him on board."

Eriksson is Newcastle's seventh manager since 1999, and replaces Joe Kinnear, who left the position in February.

After early managerial success in his native Sweden, Eriksson went on to win trophies with Benfica in Portugal and Roma, Sampdoria and Lazio in Italy.

It was this that brought him to the attention of the Football Association, who appointed him as England manager as replacement for Kevin Keegan.

He was appointed England manager in 2000 and led the national side to three successive quarter-finals at major championships before leaving the post after the 2006 World Cup.
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Nice start. This is very good.
Nice start. This is very good.


More to follow, including those who I've opted to keep from the real life departures.
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Martins moves to Wolfsburg
Page last updated on June 19th 2009, 15:03 UK

Wolfsburg have announced the signing of Obafemi Martins on a four-year contract from Newcastle.

The Bundesliga champions agreed an undisclosed fee with the Magpies earlier this week reported to be in the region of €10.5million (£9m).

The transfer has now been finalised to bring to an end Martins' three-year stint at St James' Park.

Newcastle beat off competition from a number of other clubs to capture the Nigerian striker from Inter Milan in 2006.

He enjoyed patches of good form but following the change of management and final day survival, Newcastle have elected to let Martins leave St. James' Park.

Martins will now hope to establish himself as a regular member of the Wolfsburg side but will have to vie with Grafite and Edin Dzeko for a spot.

"He is just the type of player that we were looking for to complement Grafite and Edin Dzeko," said Wolfsburg boss Armin Veh.

"He is not only quick, but he has also proven how dangerous he is in front of goal."

Martins added: "I am delighted the transfer has gone through. The Bundesliga is one of the strongest leagues in the world and I am happy to be able to play for the defending Bundesliga champions.

"This is going to be a great challenge."
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Aston Villa sign Beye from Newcastle
Page last updated on June 20th 2009, 12:03 UK

Aston Villa have confirmed the signing of full back Habib Beye from Newcastle.

The Senegal right-back arrived at Villa’s training ground on Friday morning for talks with the club, and has later passed a medical and signed on a three-year-contract for a fee believed to be worth £2.6 million.

Martin O’Neill, the Villa manager, moved faster than Everton and Stoke in their interest in the defender, inviting Beye to Villa to begin talks once Newcastle had accepted their offer.

Talks progressed slowly through the day, with Beye’s salary thought to have been a particular sticking point.

Now that he is on board, Beye, who is also able to play in the centre of defence, brings a versatility that would hugely benefit O’Neill bearing in mind the small size of his squad.

Beye’s presence with give O’Neill some much needed experience in the back line, following the retirement of Martin Laursen at the end of last season.

It was something that O’Neill was particularly keen to address: "The Premier League is particularly difficult,” he said. “To give us a chance this season, I not only want some promising players in but also established players.

"The squad is essentially young so I'd like to add a bit of experience to it.”

Beye signed for Newcastle on transfer deadline day 2007 from French giants Marseille. He made 52 appearances for the North East club and was voted the team's player of the season in his first campaign at the club.

His only goal for Newcastle came in December 2007, which was a late winner in a Premier League match against Birmingham City.
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Simpson joins Newcastle on loan
Page last updated on June 24th 2009, 12:03 UK

Newcastle have signed full back Danny Simpson on loan from Manchester United until January.

The 22-year-old is a right-sided full-back who is expected to replace the departed Habib Beye and will wear the number 5 shirt at St James's Park.

Manchester United loaned Simpson out last season for spells at Blackburn and Ipswich, and he also enjoyed a spell with rivals Sunderland in 2006-07.

He becomes Newcastle's first signing this summer.

The defender, who joined the Reds' academy in 2003, has had eight first-team appearances at Old Trafford.

He had two loans spells at Belgian club Royal Antwerp before making his Manchester United debut in a Carling Cup fixture against Coventry City in September 2007.

In other news, Newcastle have confirmed defender David Edgar has rejected interest from Burnley and has signed a new four year contract at St. James' Park.

The Canadian-born centre back joined Newcastle in 2003 and had been out of contract, but has elected to extend his spell on Tyneside.

He will be hoping for better luck in 2009-10, with Newcastle winning none of the 11 league games he played in during 2008-09.
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Newcastle reject Bassong bid
Page last updated on June 26th 2009, 13:03 UK

Newcastle have rejected a bid of six million pounds from Spurs for defender Sebastien Bassong.

Spurs, Arsenal and Manchester City had been linked with the defender, 23, and the North London club have been the first to make an offer for the player but had their bid rejected by new Newcastle manger Sven-Goran Eriksson.

The North East club are understood to view Bassong as a key player and want to keep him on as they seek to improve on last season's disappointing 17th place.

The defender had hinted he would leave Newcastle United if they had been relegated but the club's survival means the club feel confident about keeping him on the books.

Newcastle manager Eriksson said, "We are aware Seb attracted interest. After all, he had a good season and we knew people would be interested. But unless we get an offer we feel meets his valuation we won't be interested in selling him.

"The offer Spurs made was not good enough so consequently we turned it down. Simple as that."

Bassong joined Newcastle from French side Metz in the summer after impressing in a trial appearance away at Doncaster Rovers. He made 30 Premier League appearances despite earning two red cards and was voted the club's player of the season.
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Duff: I want to stay at Newcastle
Page last updated on June 26th 2009, 13:03 UK

Newcastle winger Damien Duff has declared he wants to stay at the club.

The Irish winger, 30, scored at both ends as Newcastle secured Premier League survival on the final day and had been linked with a transfer away from Tyneside, with Fulham reportedly interested.

But Duff said he is not interested in the speculation and wants to stay with the club.

He said, "I'm aware speculation has been linking me with a move but I'm not interested. I like playing for the club and am looking forward to working with the new managerial team alongside Sven (Goran Eriksson) and Alan (Shearer), and there is optimism that things are set to improve at the club after a season we know did not go well.

"They know as much as we do that we did not reach our potential last season for whatever reason but I feel happy to be involved with this projection and am really looking forward to this."

Duff signed for Newcastle from Chelsea in 2006 for a reported five million pounds. He has been deployed as a left back and a striker at times for the club, although he is prominently a left winger.

He has two Premier League titles to his name from his time with Chelsea, who he joined in 2003 from Blackburn Rovers.

Duff played 33 times in all competitions for the Magpies last season - the most he has played in a single season for the club so far.
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Chelsea sign Ba
Page last updated on July 13th 2009, 16:03 UK

Chelsea have confirmed the signing of Demba Ba from German side Hoffenheim for a reported thirteen and a half million pounds.

The Senegalese international striker, 24, was a key player in the German team's promotion to the Bundesliga and first season in the German top flight, where he scored 14 goals in 33 matches.

Ba had interested fellow Premier League club Newcastle United, who had a seven million pound bid rejected by the German side.

In a statement on the Chelsea website, Ba said: "It is an honour to interest a team with the quality and standing of Chelsea Football Club.

"It has been a fantastic ride with Hoffenheim and I will remember the fine memories of my time with them in the Bundesliga, but when one of the biggest names in England wants you to play for them, then I am happy to be ready to move to the club.

"I am aware other clubs had wanted to sign me and I am flattered by the interest that was shown in me but when it was clear this club was linked, I knew I wanted to move here."

Ba joined Hoffenheim from Belgian team Mouscron in 2007 for three million euros. He had previously played for French side Rouen, having had unsuccessful trials with Watford, Barnsley, Swansea and Gillingham.
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Sven: We know we need players and we're working on it
Page last updated on July 20th 2009, 07:03 UK

Newcastle United manager Sven-Goran Eriksson has said the club are working on transfers that need to join the club.

Amid rumours Mike Ashley has blocked new signings as part of his efforts to sell the club, Eriksson denied the rumours and said the club are looking to bring players to St. James' Park.

The Swedish manager, 61, was speaking after a 6-0 win for his team in a Friendly Cup Third Place play-off match against Portuguese side Maritimo in Mexico.

Eriksson said: "I have heard these rumours the chairman does not want to spend money but I have talked with him and he has said the money raised through player sales will go on some new players.

"We have targets that we want to sign in mind. Obviously we were disappointed not to sign Demba Ba but he is not the only player we are interested in signing and we have been in contact with potential targets to strengthen the squad."

Eriksson also said to be keen to strengthen in attack after Obafemi Martins, Michael Owen and Mark Viduka all left the club. He had been beaten to the signing of Demba Ba by Chelsea and had been rebuffed in an inquiry to sign Luis Suarez from Ajax, but said he has earmarked possible targets.

He added: "Obviously we know we need new players in the attack. Although we do have options we could use one or two additional players in this area of the pitch, hence why we made attempts to sign players but ultimately couldn't find them.

"We know players we want to sign and we have made inquiries to sign these players. I think we could confirm one signing soon, but we will see."

Newcastle's first pre-season friendlies saw them play in a Friendly Tournament in Mexico. After a 1-1 draw with host side Juaguares de Chiapas, they were beaten on penalties, but the club bounced back with a resounding 6-0 victory over Maritimo in the third place play-off.

It is rumoured Newcastle have made a bid for Nice striker Loic Remy, but Eriksson would not confirm or deny the rumours.
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Wilshere makes loan move to Newcastle
Page last updated on July 26th 2009, 07:03 UK

Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere will join Newcastle United on a season long loan deal.

The highly rated 17 year old will move from the Emirates Stadium to St. James Park, with a loan fee believed to be around £2.4million being paid to the Gunners for his spell on Tyneside.

Newcastle manager Sven-Goran Eriksson said: "Jack is a talented, young, hungry player who I think has got a bright future ahead of him.

"He has got an abundance of quality and he will enhance our squad.

"The deals suit all parties concerned if the boys go and deliver on the pitch."

Wilshere has made three first team appearances for Arsenal, scoring in a League Cup victory over Sheffield United. He also became the club's youngest ever league debutant when he appeared as a late sub for Arsenal against Blackburn last year.

Wilshere signed a new five year deal at Arsenal in the summer. He will wear the number 19 shirt at St. James' Park.
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Newcastle confirm Mandzukic signing
Page last updated on July 28th 2009, 14:18 UK

Newcastle United have confirmed the signing of Croatian striker Mario Mandzukic from Dinamo Zagreb for four and a half million pounds.

Mandzukic, 23, had interested a few other clubs but has elected to move to Tyneside on a four year contract. He will wear the number 10 shirt for the club.

The Croatian striker joins after two seasons with Dinamo Zagreb, where he scored 44 goals in all competitions.

He has also been capped seven times by the Croatian national team, and scored once, with that goal coming in Croatia's 4-1 defeat by England in September 2008.

Newcastle manager Sven-Goran Eriksson said: "We have been very interested in strengthening our forward line, with three players all leaving the club. We scoured for quality options on our budget, and Mario was a great player we scouted.

"He had many attributes we were looking for and I feel he is a player the fans will love to see playing for us."

Mandzukic is Newcastle's first permanent signing of the new season, and their second in two days after the loan signing of Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere.

Eriksson had been looking for a striker, with Michael Owen, Mark Viduka and Obafemi Martins all leaving the club. The club had already been outbid by Chelsea in the pursuit of striker Demba Ba, and it is also believed the club had a bid rejected for Ajax striker Luis Suarez.
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Geremi confirms Turkish transfer
Page last updated on August 4th 2009, 14:18 UK

Turkish side Ankaragucu have confirmed the signing of Cameroon international Geremi from Newcastle United.

The 30 year old utility player has made the move to the Turkish Super League for a fee of one million pounds.

The midfielder has been allowed to move after being informed by manager Sven-Goran Eriksson that he is not in his plans for the club's upcoming Premier League campaign.

Geremi, formerly of Real Madrid, Middlesbrough and Chelsea, joined Newcastle in 2007. He made 42 league appearances in two campaigns at St. James' Park, and scored two goals.

He had previously played in Turkey for Genclerbirligi, who he represented over two seasons lasting 1997-99.

It concludes a busy week for the club, with Newcastle sending out defender Darren Lough and midfielder Ryan Donaldson on loan to Darlington and Chesterfield respectively.
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Bassong to miss opening trio
Page last updated on August 6th 2009, 16:18 UK

Newcastle United defender Sebastien Bassong will miss Newcastle's first three Premier League games with a twisted ankle.

The 23 year old defender was taken off with the injury ten minutes after half time during Newcastle's final pre-season warm up fixture against Inter Milan at St. James' Park.

As a result of his injury, Bassong will miss Newcastle's first three Premier League games when the season gets underway on August 15th.

He will miss Newcastle's opening match against Stoke City, and further games against Tottenham Hotspur and Burnley. The club are saying he should be available for the club's second round tie in the Carling Cup.

Bassong was signed by Newcastle in summer 2008 for a nominal fee from French side Metz. He proved to be a key player for the club during the 2008-09 season, making 30 Premier League appearances and winning the Fans Player of the Season award.

Newcastle's final pre-season game saw them register a 1-0 victory over Inter Milan. The only goal of the game saw former Arsenal player Patrick Viera score an own goal after 47 minutes when the French midfielder inadvertently turned the ball home after a Kevin Nolan drive had hit the bar.
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Pre-season results

With the season about to start, we look back at the pre-season results for Newcastle United.

18th July 2009
Jaguares 1-1 Newcastle (Jaguares win 4-3 on penalties)
Newcastle's first pre-season commitments saw them travel to south-eastern Mexico to take on a four team tournament. The four team tournament included host team Jaguares de Chiapas, Serbian side Partizan Belgrade and Portugese team Maritimo. Against Jaguares, Newcastle took a very quick lead when young striker Nile Ranger met Shola Ameobi's knockdown to finish. Jaguares equalised when Baltazar Martinez evaded Steven Taylor to equalise. The game eventually went to penalties. With both sides having missed one penalty each, a miss by Fabricio Coloccini proved vital and Jaguares progressed to the final.

19th July 2009
Maritimo 0-6 Newcastle
One day later and a much changed Newcastle starting 11 played a third placed play-off against Maritimo. The Magpies took an early lead through Kevin Nolan turned home the rebound after Peter Lovenkrands had been denied. Nolan then turned provider for the Dane, who finished with aplomb. Newcastle were 3-0 up at half-time when Andy Carroll raced onto Joey Barton's through ball and tucked home. A dominant display for Newcastle saw Maritimo fail to register any shots on target in the whole match and second-half strikes for Carroll, Jonas Gutierrez and Damien Duff wrapped up a smooth victory.

23rd July 2009
Bochum 2-1 Newcastle
Four days after their exploits in Mexico, Newcastle travelled to Germany to take on Bundesliga outfit VfL Bochum. The Magpies took the opening goal on 20 minutes when Shola Ameobi turned home Kevin Nolan's through ball, but the Germans hit back seven minutes later when Anthar Yahia scored from a corner. Bochum took the lead with 16 minutes to go when Stanislav Sestak held off Steven Taylor to score, and the hosts held on to secure the victory.

27th July 2009
Newcastle 1-0 Cagliari
Newcastle's first pre-season friendly in England saw them welcome Serie A side Cagliari to St. James' Park. Goalkeeper Federico Marchetti made two smart saves to deny Andy Carroll and home debutant Jack Wilshere. The only goal came 13 minutes after half time when Carroll was tripped by Luca Spina, and Joey Barton scored the penalty. Spina conceded a second penalty in the 89th minute when he tripped Steven Taylor, but Ryan Donaldson hit the bar with his penalty. Nevertheless, Newcastle held on to win.

29th July 2009
Peterborough 0-0 Newcastle
A much changed Newcastle team that included debutant Mario Mandzukic travelled to London Road to take on Championship new boys Peterborough United. A brilliant Tim Krul save denied Aaron McLean early on, while Mandzukic saw one effort held by Joe Lewis and one go over. Lewis made a pair of firm late saves to deny Mandzukic and Andy Carroll, and the game finished goalless.

5th August 2009
Newcastle 1-0 Inter Milan
The final game of Newcastle's pre-season calendar saw them take on Inter Milan at home, and the fans were expecting a difficult occasion against Jose Mourinho's Italian giants. The best chance of the first half saw a well-placed Diego Milito somehow head over, while Newcastle were able to take the lead shortly after half-time. Kevin Nolan's effort from distance hit the bar and the unfortunately-positioned Viera turned the ball into his own net. Aside from one brilliant save to deny Samuel Eto'o, Steve Harper was rarely troubled and Newcastle held on to secure a morale-boosting victory.
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Season 2009/10 Preview: Newcastle United
Page last updated on August 10th 2009, 16:18 UK

With the Premier League about to return this weekend, The Daily Telegraph is running the rule over your team ahead of the new campaign. Here, we take a look at Newcastle United

Last Season In A Sentence:
Absolute disaster that looked increasingly bleak before Super Alan Shearer came in to save the day by the skin of his teeth.

This Season Will Be...
An unknown quantity. There is no denying the appointment of Sven-Goran Eriksson shows ambition, and they have been shrewdly clever in bringing in young talent to replace their expensive duffers. But with Mike Ashley looking to sell, it remains to be seen if they are cutting them too fast to quickly, and letting go the likes of Michael Owen and Obafemi Martins could be a decision that backfires.

Manager: Sven-Goran Eriksson
The one-time England and Manchester City manager rocks up at St. James' Park looking to prove his worth after his failure with Mexico. There is no denying he has tactics and a full season in charge should see him prove his worth, but this is a place where anything can happen, not least with Alan Shearer in his backroom waiting in case thing go cock-eyed.

Key Player: Sebastien Bassong
Having rejected bids from Spurs and so far shielded him from European interest, Newcastle know they have found a gem in this French centre back. The challenge is keeping him at the club and then fit - Bassong will miss the first three games with injury.

New Boys:
Mario Mandzukic is so far the club's only permanent signing, although the club are reportedly close to signing Danish midfielder Mikkel Thygesen. Nevertheless, Mandzukic is a highly rated player that had suitors across Europe, and should be a fabulous player, but its a question to see if he can replace three strikers at once. Danny Simpson and Jack Wilshere are good young talents on loan and could have big seasons.

What They Still Need:
With Owen, Martins and Mark Viduka having all left St. James' Park, a new striker is still needed - calls that will grow louder if Mandzukic, Andy Carroll and Shola Ameobi fail to contribute. A further full back is also a possible requirement, although its unknown what if any transfer kitty is still left.

Big Season For: Joey Barton
A number of well-renumerated under-performers could fill in this category but Barton fits this more than most. Having been suspended by the club for fighting with Shearer after his sending off at Liverpool in May, Barton is in the latest of last chance saloons. Anything less and it looks like he'll be out of a club.

The team have the manager and players to steer well clear of the relegation dogfight, and should be enough for a midtable finish. But where abouts is always debatable, plus you can never to be sure if and when Newcastle can pick a moment to implode. 11th

New Signings:
Mario Mandzukic (Dinamo Zagreb, £4.5M), Danny Simpson (Manchester United, loan), Jack Wilshere (Arsenal, loan)

Obafemi Martins (Wolfsburg, £9M), Michael Owen (Manchester United, free), Habib Beye (Aston Villa, £2.5M), Geremi (Ankaragucu, £1M), Mark Viduka (retired), Cacapa (Cruzeiro, free), Fraser Forster (Norwich, loan), Xisco (Racing Santander, loan), Ryan Donaldson (Chesterfield, loan), Darren Lough (Darlington, loan)

Predicted Eleven:
Harper - Ryan Taylor, Coloccini, Bassong, Jose Enrique - Jonas, Nolan, Smith, Duff - Mandzukic, Carroll
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Thygesen seals Newcastle switch
Page last updated on August 10th 2009, 21:00 UK

Newcastle United have confirmed the signing of Danish midfielder Mikkel Thygesen from FC Midtjylland.

The 24 year old is Newcastle's fourth new signing of the transfer window and moves to St. James Park for a fee of £2.6million. He will wear the number six shirt for the club and could make his debut for the club's season opener at Stoke City on Saturday.

Newcastle manager Sven-Goran Eriksson said: "The club ha been looking for additional options we feel could strengthen our squad for the new campaign and I am delighted we have concluded the signing of Mikkel.

"We needed an additional right sided midfielder. Our options there were a full back, a central midfielder and two left midfielders, and I felt a right sided midfielder would restore balance. Luckily we also have a talented option at our disposal now in the form of Mikkel and I am looking forward to see him play for us."

Thygesen left after two seasons with Danish side Midtjylland. He was in his second spell with the club, having rejoined the club in 2007 after an unhappy six month spell with German side Borussia Mönchengladbach.

He played 131 Danish SuperLiga games for the team, and scored 22 goals in his time there.

Thygesen was part of the Midtjylland side that came close to victory over Manchester City in the UEFA Cup last August, where he set up the winner in the Danish side's 1-0 first leg win at the City of Manchester Stadium.
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Stoke City 1-1 Newcastle United
Page last updated on August 15th 2009, 17:19 UK

James Beattie scored but missed various chances as Stoke drew with ten man Newcastle on the opening day.

Newcastle's task had looked a tricky one when Steven Taylor was sent off for a ill-timed lunge on former Magpie Andy Griffin before half-time.

But to the home crowd's surprise, it was the visitors who took the lead when Andy Carroll finished up a swift counter attacking run with the finish.

Beattie scored an equaliser when he turned home Salif Diao's through ball but he couldn't bag a winner and as a result the two teams ended the afternoon all square.

The two sides both missed chances, with Newcastle's better chances coming earlier on in the afternoon's play.

However, they weren't chances Thomas Sorensen will have had nightmares about. Alan Smith and Carroll both saw efforts fly hopelessly off target, before Smith saw an effort firmly held by Stoke's former Sunderland goalkeeper.

Sorensen had a very firm save to make after 18 minutes when he was able to beat away Carroll's effort after the Geordie striker was first to Mario Mandzukic's pass.

Carroll also saw a volley deflected wide in an even game that had seen Matthew Etherington and Fuller both unable to find the target.

But although Newcastle had the best of the opening exchanges, their afternoon became a troublesome one when they were reduced to ten men seven minutes before half time.

Stoke had just been awarded a free-kick following a challenge by Fabricio Coloccini, which was played short forward to Griffin. The former Newcastle full back was met by a two footed lunge from Newcastle centre-half Taylor, who was dismissed from the field by referee Lee Mason.

Newcastle undertook re-organisation, with Nolan the unlucky sacrifice. He was replaced by Ryan Taylor, with Danny Simpson sent into centre back.

The Potters almost got themselves in front, with Beattie seeing an effort deflected wide and Etherington seeing a powerful effort clatter the bar.

Stoke entered the second half hopeful to take the lead against the Magpies. But with 14 minutes of a quiet second half gone, it was the visitors who took the advantage with a swift movement.

It came when a poor ball forward was intercepted by Simpson, who sprayed the ball out to wide right. He picked out Mandzukic, who raced clear down the right flank before pulling in a cross. His cross picked out Carroll, and the striker rose above former teammate Abdoulaye Faye to power home the opener.

It was a second goal in consecutive visits to the Britannia Stadium for Carroll, and the young striker increased his burgeoning reputation.

The afternoon was almost made sweeter for the Magpies when Ryan Taylor's free-kick was just fractionally off target.

But Stoke were able to equalise within six minutes. It came through some firm build up play that picked out Glenn Whelan. He laid it off for his fellow central midfielder Diao, who fired the ball up to Beattie. The former Sheffield United striker was able to make space before placing a crisp finish past Steve Harper.

It was Stoke's first shot on target in the whole afternoon. It also gave them a platform to attempt to find a winning goal.

Within four minutes of the equaliser, Beattie was close to grabbing a second goal. A perfectly weighted cross picked out the striker, who tailed away from Coloccini, but his header floated off target.

Whelan had two opportunites in the final few moments when he had a go from long range but couldn't find a way home.

But a firm Newcastle defensive display prevented them from creating opportunities. Indeed, the Magpies almost won it themselves ten minutes from time with a similar goal to their earlier strike when Mandzukic picked out Carroll. However, this time, the Newcastle striker's attempt went off target.

In the final moments, Beattie had two attempts to find a winner. On both occasions, he rose above Jose Enrique to meet swinging crosses but on both occasions, he was nowhere near finding the net.

As a result, Tony Pulis' men were left frustrated by terrible attacking and a failure to cash in on their man advantage. Meanwhile, it was a reasonably satisfactory start to the Sven-Goran Eriksson era for Newcastle United, who will feel pleased to have taken a point from a difficult away ground and will be pleased to have survived with ten men.

Stoke: Sorensen - Wilkinson, Faye, Huth (Shawcross 72), Griffin (Dickinson 83) - Tuncay, Diao, Whelan, Etherington (Pugh 65) - Beattie, Fuller
Subs not used: Walker, Higginbotham, Collins, Kitson
Booked: Huth, Diao

Scorer: Beattie (64)

Newcastle: Harper - Simpson, Steven Taylor, Coloccini, Jose Enrique - Thygesen (Kadar 90), Smith (Barton 81), Nolan (Ryan Taylor 39), Jonas - Mandzukic, Carroll
Subs not used: Krul, Wilshere, Ameobi, Lovenkrands
Booked: Nolan, Coloccini, Smith
Sent Off: Steven Taylor (38)

Scorer: Carroll (59)

Referee: Lee Mason
Attendance: 27,000
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Tottenham Hotspur 5-2 Newcastle United
Page last updated on August 18th 2009, 22:46 UK

Robbie Keane scored a hat trick as Spurs secured a comprehensive win over Newcastle and made it two wins from two.

Newcastle had actually struck first at White Hart Lane when Jonas Gutierrez scored his first goal for the club after 11 minutes, but Spurs equalised seven minutes later through Keane.

Spurs took the lead through Tom Huddlestone but the two teams entered the half-time break level when Andy Carroll scored a penalty.

The game was decided in Spurs' favour after half-time when they were controversially awarded two penalties, both of which Keane scored. Wilson Palacios then scored his first Spurs goal to add some gloss to the scoreline in the 94th minute.

It was a further tonic for the Spurs fans, who saw their heroes triumph 2-0 over North London neighbours Arsenal on the opening day amid claims Harry Redknapp is now assembling a squad that can challenge for the Champions League spaces.

This squad rotation was required in the opening stages of the game, with Jermain Defoe taken from the field early on in proceedings after being injured in a clash with Fabricio Coloccini.

Newcastle were then able to stun the Lane when they broke through to score in 11 minutes.

The ball was rolled to Jack Wilshere in the middle of the park, and the loan signing from Arsenal was able to play the ball through to Mario Mandzukic. A well played ball from the Croatian forward cued up Jonas, and the Argentine midfielder was able to clear the defence and fire home.

Spurs attempted to find a way through and get a quick equaliser. Both their attempts fell to Keane, who saw one effort go way off target and another saved fairly easily by away goalkeeper Steve Harper. But it was the home team with the game's second goal moments later.

It all began from the back when Ledley King dispossessed Mandzukic. He sprayed it out to Benoit Assou-Ekotto, who slung a quick ball forward to Luka Modric. The midfielder was able to race clear of Danny Simpson and put in a low ball that was met by Keane's diving header, who was able to place his header beyond Harper.

It was a first goal of the season for the Irish striker, and he almost made it two on 29 minutes but he couldn't turn Niko Kranjcar's ball into the goal. Huddlestone was also unable to get the ball home, while Newcastle's best chance was wasted by Mandzukic.

With ten minutes to go before half-time, it was Spurs who grabbed a second goal. They won a free-kick for a foul by Coloccini on Keane, and Huddlestone superbly dispatched the free-kick beyond Harper into the top corner.

But Spurs' couldn't keep Newcastle out and the visitors were able to grab an equaliser four minutes after going behind. A long ball forward from David Edgar was flicked on by Carroll to Jonas, who was tripped by Palacios.

Referee Martin Atkinson awarded the Magpies a penalty kick, and it was Carroll who stepped up and placed the penalty beyond Gomes.

Huddlestone's inaccuracy cost him the chance to give Spurs a third first half goal, while with the first attack of the second, only a superb intervention from Edgar denied Roman Pavyluchenko a shooting opportunity. Palacios then also tried his luck when he met the clearance but Harper was able to make the save.

The Toon Army came very close to grabbing the goal when Mikkel Thygesen saw his free-kick just skim the top of the crossbar, and Carroll was also inaccurate, while Palacios was only able to strike the ball into the crowd.

Spurs were then awarded a penalty kick after 59 minutes, much to the agitation of the away team. It was awarded when a long ball was flicked on by Keane towards Pavyluchenko, who the referee ruled was pulled back by Jose Enrique.

The Newcastle full back was booked, despite protests which saw Joey Barton vociferously argue his teammate's case. But the referee was not interested and soon enough, Keane stepped up and scored the penalty.

Newcastle's annoyance with the referee was compounded moments later when Spurs were awarded a second penalty. This time Assou-Ekotto's low cross picked out Keane, who was felled by Coloccini and this incident led to the award of a spot kick.

The visiting players surrounded Atkinson as they felt the penalty should not have been awarded and the kick did look debatable but once again, Atkinson ignored the protests.

For the second time in four minutes, Keane's penalty went beyond Harper and this gave Spurs a two goal lead.

The away team's mood was even further darkened on 69 minutes when it appeared Vedran Corluka had fouled Jonas, but the referee was unmoved despite further protests from the Magpies faithful.

They did get close to a third goal when substitute Damien Duff was denied by Gomes, while Payvluchenko and Emmerson Boyce were a bit more wayward with their efforts to kill the game off.

Much closer was Luka Modric, who stepped up to take a free-kick after a foul by Mandzukic and his superb effort hit the post.

Spurs had lost Keane at this point, after he also went off following a tangle with Coloccini. The defender was booked for his part in the scuffle.

Newcastle did have some efforts to restore some pride, with a superb Boyce intervention denying sub Peter Lovenkrands room to shoot and Gomes made a brilliant stop to turn Jonas' effort off target.

Duff saw two efforts to score a third Newcastle goal denied, with one held by Gomes and one going fractionally off target.

But in second half injury time, it was Spurs with the game's seventh goal. Modric won a corner off Simpson, and his resulting corner picked out Palacios, who buried his header home.

Once again, Newcastle felt they had cause for complaint, with Coloccini feeling Palacios had handled the ball, and once again their protests were ignored and Spurs' goal stood.

A miserable evening for Sven-Goran Eriksson's team duly finished there, with the team clearly annoyed with the referee's handling of the match. But it was a good afternoon for Spurs, who felt their play warranted such a comprehensive victory that continues a great start for the North London team.

Spurs: Gomes - Corluka, Boyce, King, Assou-Ekotto - Palacios, Kranjcar (Lennon 45), Huddlestone, Modric - Keane (Zenden 70), Defoe (Pavyluchenko 3)
Subs not used: Walker, Dervite, Naughton, Bentley

Scorer: Keane (18, pen 59, pen 62), Huddlestone (36), Palacios (90+4)

Newcastle: Harper - Simpson, Edgar, Coloccini, Jose Enrique - Thygesen (Duff 60), Barton, Wilshere (Lovenkrands 71), Jonas - Mandzukic, Carroll
Subs not used: Krul, Ryan Taylor, Kadar, Smith, Ameobi
Booked: Jose Enrique, Coloccini, Wilshere

Scorer: Jonas (11), Carroll (pen 39)

Referee: Martin Atkinson
Attendance: 35,602
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Newcastle United 4-0 Burnley
Page last updated on August 22nd 2009, 17:46 UK

Mario Mandzukic and Jonas Gutierrez scored braces as Newcastle beat Burnley to secure their first Premier League victory of the season.

The Magpies took the lead after an even opening quarter when Jonas was first to the rebound, and they doubled their lead within ten minutes when Mandzukic scored his first Newcastle goal on the counter-attack.

Mandzukic then grabbed a second goal when he was first to a corner, before Jonas buried any prospect of an unlikely Burnley comeback when he turned home a cross after half-time.

It was a deserved first victory for the Sven-Goran Eriksson era at St. James' Park, while it was frustration for Burnley who followed up their first Premier League win in midweek with a disappointingly comprehensive defeat.

The game had kicked off to an even start, with Mandzukic and Steven Fletcher both unable to get strikes on target inside the first ten minutes.

Ryan Taylor had also tried to find the goal but couldn't get a strike cleanly on target, but the Newcastle midfielder would be involved in the game's opening goal moments later.

Taylor was picked out by Danny Simpson and he was able to cut inside and lash a strike that Diego Penny did well to keep out. However the ball fell straight to Jonas, who tucked the ball home for his second goal in two games.

Newcastle's second came ten minutes later and just after Fletcher had been denied by a combination of Harper and the offside flag.

A bit of midfield bouncing around saw Andre Bikey's pass intercepted by Joey Barton. The Toon midfielder moved the ball out to the recalled Kevin Nolan, who was able to find Mandzukic with a crisp forward ball. The Croatian held off the Burnley defenders and buried a smooth strike home.

It was his first goal for Newcastle since joining the club from Dinamo Zagreb in the summer and the Toon fans were delighted at the impact of their new striker.

His impact was increased ten minutes later when he grabbed his second and Newcastle's third goal.

The home team were awarded a corner when Michael Duff headed Andy Carroll's cross into touch. The resulting corner from Jonas picked out Mandzukic, who rose above Stephen Jordan to head the ball into the net.

Frustration for Burnley was shown in the closing stages of the first half, with a pointless kick from Fletcher on Nolan earning the Scottish striker a yellow card.

Any hope the Clarets had of registering a comeback victory were rendered moot eight minutes after half-time when Newcastle scored their fourth of the afternoon.

It came when Jose Enrique strode down the flank and picked out Nolan. The midfielder hit the ball out to Carroll, and the Geordie striker's cross was headed home by Jonas.

Joey Gudjonsson came through the middle and was denied by Steve Harper in Burnley's first effort on target, but even the most ardent visitors from Lancashire would have conceded at this point that their team was unlikely to gain anything from this encounter.

Danny Simpson came close to registering a fifth for the home side when his cross went wide, while Fletcher was denied by a David Edgar block and Harper denied Wade Elliott as Burnley attempted to find a way back.

But in the end, the game fizzled out and Newcastle were able to toast a comprehensive first victory of the new season. It was no more than Sven-Goran Eriksson's side deserved, and they will be mightily happy to have got their season off and running at last.

Newcastle: Harper - Simpson (Wilshere 74), Edgar, Coloccini, Jose Enrique - Ryan Taylor, Barton, Nolan, Jonas (Thygesen 89) - Mandzukic (Lovenkrands 89), Carroll
Subs not used: Krul, Kadar, Tozer, Duff
Booked: Jonas

Scorer: Jonas (17, 53), Mandzukic (26, 36)

Burnley: Penny (Jensen 53) - Caldwell, Bikey, Carlisle - Duff, Alexander, Elliott, Gudjonsson, Paterson (Jordan 18) - Nugent (Thompson 61), Fletcher
Subs not used: Mears, Eckersely, Easton, Eagles
Booked: Fletcher

Referee: Chris Foy
Attendance: 48,861
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Newcastle United 2-0 Nottingham Forest
Page last updated on August 22nd 2009, 17:46 UK

Peter Lovenkrands scored a brace as Newcastle beat Nottingham Forest in the Carling Cup second round.

The Danish striker was making his first start of the season and showed manager Sven-Goran Eriksson his talent with two first half strikes that ultimately ensured the Magpies beat their Championship opponents.

It could have been a more comprehensive scoreline, with the visitors failing to register a single shot on target in the whole game. But ultimately, the Magpies' progression with please Eriksson more.

They will now take on Championship side Middlesbrough in the 3rd Round of the competition.

There was also a further boost to the manager's night, as Sebastien Bassong and Danny Guthrie returned as substitutes and suffered no further injury worries ahead of Saturday's Premier League encounter with Wolves.

In truth, this was not the most testing afternoon for Newcastle, although it could've been one if Dexter Blackstock had not fired wildly off target when he tried the rebound after his initial attempt had been blocked by David Edgar.

Wes Morgan was also off target early on, but Newcastle had the first shot on target when Lee Camp denied Joey Barton, and the Magpies were ahead after just eight minutes.

It was classic route one stuff for the home side. A long goal kick from Tim Krul picked out Lovenkrands, who raced clear of the Forest defenders and deftly finished the ball past Camp.

Lovenkrands was denied a quickfire second when he saw an effort tipped away by Camp, and the Forest goalkeeper also put in a firm stop to deny Damien Duff's curling free-kick.

The home side thought they should have had a second goal when Shola Ameobi laid the ball off for Mikkel Thygesen to finish, but the referee ruled the Danish midfielder had strayed offside.

Nevertheless, with 22 minutes on the clock, it was the Magpies who grabbed the game's second goal.

Duff's wing work allowed him to play the ball inside for Barton, and the midfielder's superb through ball weighed the ball up beautifully for Lovenkrands. The Danish striker duly dispatched his and Newcastle's second goal.

It was almost three very quickly, with Luke Chambers' late intervention denying Shola Ameobi shooting room and Camp making a fine stop to keep out Jack Wilshere.

Wilshere, who is on loan from Arsenal, then put an effort wide while Duff was denied by Camp as Newcastle tried to hunt down a third strike.

By contrast, the Toon Army played at a slower tempo during the second half, with wayward efforts from Ryan Taylor and Ameobi the best they could offer in the opening quarter of an hour.

This almost gave Forest a way back but Chambers could not direct his header on target from Paul Anderson's corner.

Forest had another attempt like this when Blackstock ran free of Fabricio Coloccini but hit a strike hopelessly high and wide, while the closest Newcastle got saw a Morgan block deny Lovenkrands.

Newcastle almost got a third goal in second half injury time when substitute Mario Mandzukic saw a firm effort denied by Camp, but ultimately those two first half strikes from Lovenkrands were enough and ensures progress to third round for Sven-Goran Eriksson's side.

Newcastle: Krul - Ryan Taylor, Coloccini, Edgar (Bassong 87), Kadar - Thygesen (Guthrie 62), Barton, Wilshere, Duff (Mandzukic 87) - Lovenkrands, Ameobi
Subs not used: Harper, Tozer, Jonas, Carroll

Scorer: Lovenkrands (8, 22)

Forest: Camp - Gunter (Wilson 74), Chambers, Morgan, Lynch - Anderson (Darnet 87), McKenna, Moussi, Cohen - Adebola (McCleary 56), Blackstock
Subs not used: Smith, McCashin, Diagne, Majewski
Booked: Moussi

Referee: Carl Boyeson
Attendance: 29,378
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