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Mission Impossible?

Mission Impossible?

Graeme Souness will be hoping to end a three-game losing streak today when Aston Villa visit and he looked a man 'on the edge' when questioned about his position yesterday. The pressure showed in his face. He was lined up to be shot at, and you could even say the sooner he is put out of his misery the better for all concerned.

His old Liverpool team-mate Kenny Dalglish said it was an 'impossible job' when he was shown the door, and we probably have to ask ourselves why. Is it the chairman; the pressure from the fans; Alan Shearer (as Patrick Kluivert suggested); or the tea lady who cannot serve a decent cup of char? Who knows?

Souness: 'It's not an impossible job. Someone will get it right and I believe I can. Ten to fifteen years ago managers got a lot more time than they do now. Maybe in five years from now they will get an even shorter time. I'm not talking about Newcastle now, it is prevalent in football all round.

'There's not been an ultimatum landed at my door. But I know this Aston Villa game is important for us. I'd be a fool not to realise that. I've looked at Newcastle from afar and been involved here directly. There has to be more than just the fact they've been unlucky for 40 odd years or that teams haven't been good enough for 40 odd years.

'Maybe we overreact to everything too much. I think that puts pressure on everyone, that brings pressure to bear on people who have to make important decisions. As anyone will tell you, the secret to having a successful football club is continuity. My take on it is that at this club, along with maybe one or two others in the UK, you're only two games away from the situation we find ourselves in. But I knew that before I put pen to paper and signed the contract.

'It will be the same when I leave here. The next person in my seat will have to endure the same experiences. If you are manager of Newcastle United you have to live with that. All I can say is we have an honest group of players who we believe will still end up having a good season.

'I come to work every morning wanting to give 110 per cent to the job. I fully understand the fans' anger and disappointment. We've said all along the time to judge us and the players is when we're fully fit. It's December and that's not happened yet. We've had 16 hamstring injuries, the average club has five.

'I believe I have the backing of the players. We've had a bad game-and-a-half against Everton and Wigan. That can happen to any team. It happened to Aston Villa this week. I'm sure Aston Villa's supporters are still angry about it.'

Writer:
Date:Saturday December 3 2005
Time: 10:59AM

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League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Huddersfield 5 4 1 0 13 4
2 Fulham 5 3 2 0 11 3
3 Barnsley 5 3 0 2 9 4
4 Newcastle 5 3 0 2 9 4
5 Q.P.R. 5 3 0 2 9 3
6 Bristol City 5 3 0 2 9 2
7 Forest 5 3 0 2 9 0
8 Brighton 5 2 2 1 8 4
9 Wolves 5 2 2 1 8 3
10 Birmingham 5 2 2 1 8 2
11 Ipswich 5 2 2 1 8 1
12 Norwich 5 2 2 1 8 1
13 Burton 5 2 1 2 7 1
14 Brentford 5 2 1 2 7 1
15 Reading 5 2 1 2 7 -3
16 Aston Villa 5 1 2 2 5 0
17 Cardiff 5 1 2 2 5 -2
18 Derby County 5 1 2 2 5 -2
19 Sheff Wed 5 1 2 2 5 -3
20 Wigan 5 1 1 3 4 0
21 Leeds Utd 5 1 1 3 4 -4
22 Rotherham 5 1 1 3 4 -9
23 Preston 5 1 0 4 3 -2
24 Blackburn 5 0 1 4 1 -8
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