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Dodgy Players?

Dodgy Players?

He has his back to the wall and you only had to see his expressions to see Graeme Souness is fighting for his future. Uneasy, grasping at straws, and insisting managers don't win cups in their first few seasons. Obviously he hasn't heard of Jose Mourinho and Rafael Benitez, who cleaned up the major competitions last season.

Souness: 'I'm the manager and I'm in possession of this seat right now. I will remain here until I am told different by someone. I have lived my life one way and I will continue to do that. Never say die. The challenge is there before me and it is a challenge I'm up for. I believe I will get this right, I wouldn't have taken the job in the first place if I didn't think I was the right man.

'It took Sir Alex Ferguson seven years to win the title at Manchester United. The key word at every successful football club is continuity. It's no good making changes here, making changes there, sack him, bring more players in, that's just not the way to do it.

'We have to get away from the attitude of always changing everything because there's not a club in the history of football that has had success by continually making changes and that's a fact.

'For 90 minutes of each game, I'm the biggest fan this club has got, I feel tremendous responsibility. I'm doing this job seven days a week, 24 hours a day, to the best of my ability. I'm giving everything I've got to be successful.

'We find ourselves in a very difficult situation. We have something like eight of our top men missing. No club in the country could withstand that - not Chelsea, not Arsenal, not Manchester United, not anyone. People are talking about Arsenal not being the same team because they are missing one player this season. Well we're missing seven or eight - what does that do to us?

'We've brought in some very good players, but the injuries have killed us. Some fool has written that I'm hiding behind injuries, but we've been decimated, it means we can't play the kind of football we want. Our bench against Mansfield will be made up of kids with no first-team experience. That's just the reality of the position we are in.

'I've got a really, really good group of players here. I don't have dodgy characters now turning round telling the manager to go and sling his hook. We're not on the front pages of newspapers right now with people doing ridiculous things. I've got a great group of players - the only problem is that I can't get all of them on the pitch at the same time.'

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Date:Friday January 6 2006
Time: 11:44AM

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