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Newcastle thrown into disarray by Fulham

last updated Tuesday 12th September 2006, 7:45 AM
Titus Bramble is unlikely to choose to sit alongside Shay Given on Newcastle United's flight to Tallinn this afternoon after proving to be the subject of scathing criticism from the Republic of Ireland goalkeeper yesterday.

Given branded Newcastle's defence "sub-pub standard" in the wake of their concession of the two late goals which turned a 1-0 lead into a 2-1 defeat at home to Fulham on Saturday, when Bramble was culpable in both instances. Although the goalkeeper refrained from naming the former Ipswich centre-half it seemed obvious who his message, delivered via the club website, was intended for.

"If you looked at the Sunday league football yesterday around Newcastle you wouldn't even see the kind of goals we gave away against Fulham," said Given. "We've given one of the best players in the Premiership in terms of heading the ball [Fulham's Brian McBride, who was supposedly being marked by Bramble] the total freedom of the six-yard box.

It just isn't acceptable. They didn't even carve us open; we handed them the goals on a plate. It's amazing but we have to talk about it privately and get it sorted out within the camp."

Given also pointed out that Newcastle will need to improve if they are to win their next three games, which are all away. Glenn Roeder's side face Levadia Tallinn of Estonia in the Uefa Cup on Thursday before travelling to West Ham and then Liverpool in the Premiership.

"We need men around the dressing room," Given said. "We've got tough games ahead and as a team we have to improve. Before the Fulham game we felt we really had to get three points but we gave away two bad goals and now we've got to bounce back as quickly as possible."
Source Louise Taylor at The Guardian
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