Managers on Match
Friday, 15th Mar 2002 23:54
George Burley says that Town must show belief and character if they are to escape from relegation. Meanwhile former boss Bobby Robson has no qualms about throwing in ex-Town star Kieron Dyer so soon after his latest injury.
Burley said: "We must believe in ourselves and show our character. We were very disappointed by our first half showing at Blackburn on Wednesday. Our second half display was far more encouraging but we need to get it right for 90 minutes."
The Town boss also says he is confident that John McGreal will be fit after his calf strain: "Hopefully the injury is not too serious. John has done tremendously well for us and is an important player at the back."
Bobby Robson says that Kieron Dyer is the kind of player who can recover quickly from an injury. Something Town fans will be aware of from his days at Portman Road; he recovered from a broken leg in just six weeks in his final season at Portman Road.
Robson clearly rates Dyer very highly: "He's got speed of limb, speed of mind and he's just a very, very good footballer. He's clever in his running; he's clever in his distribution and he has a high level of fitness.
"He's just a high activity player. He makes a difference. He's a special player. He's a match-winner, that's what he is.
"It's a boost to have him back. Normally with a player who's been out for eight weeks like he has with a stress fracture, you would ask him to play at least two reserve matches.
"But he's one of these guys who doesn't need a lot of training. He's naturally fit. He seems to hit a higher level with his training than anybody else I know of."
Dyer could be used as a striker on Saturday, although it appears he is likely to start on the bench.
Fellow midfielder Nolberto Solano sees him as an ideal replacement for the injured Craig Bellamy: "Kieron is quite similar to Craig in the way he plays because he can run into space and also keeps coming and wanting the ball.
"That's what you need in the Premiership because sometimes you play against very, very solid defenders - and if you have someone like Craig or Kieron you can use the long ball to get in behind them.
"It's very important for us. It's very good news, because Kieron can play up front or in midfield. He's a very important player for us."
Bobby Robson inevitably has feelings for Town, but these will stay in check on Saturday: "There's no sentiment in it for me tomorrow. there's only one team that I want to win tomorrow, but after that, I hope they get the points to stay in the Premiership.
"It's a club I love very much and like enormously. I spent a lot of my life there, and it still means a lot to me in a way.
"They have a very difficult programme. I know the last three games are against the three clubs above us and I would think the league will go right to the end, so those three clubs will be looking for maximum points all the time.
"They have that to face at the end of the season. They have us to play and they have to play at Aston Villa.
"They did very well to win seven out of eight games just after Christmas. That's terrific; that's like Manchester United. They were safe and then they've had four games consecutively where they've lost - this is a fifth one tomorrow.
"They're obviously on a delicate line, there's no doubt about that."
Photo: Action Images
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