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28/01/2003

Away form is all Greek to Nick

Away form is all Greek to Nick

Defender Nicos Dabizas reflected on Newcastle United's away form having helped the Magpies maintain their impressive run at St James's Park - and admitted it baffles him.

The Greece international is hoping to keep his place for the trip to White Hart Lane to face Glenn Hoddle's Tottenham tomorrow.

Dabizas was brought in from the cold by Sir Bobby Robson and handed starts against Manchester City and Bolton Wanderers in Newcastle's last two games.

He had come on as a half-time substitute against Spurs on New Year's Day as United lost three players through injury and put the ball in the back of his own net.

And Dabizas is desperate to have the chance to put that right, and help Newcastle - whose record at St James's is the best in the league - chalk up only their third away win of the campaign in North London.

Robson's men have conceded 24 goals in their 11 away league games and just seven in their 13 home fixtures in the Premiership.

Dabizas, who faces competition from fit-again Titus Bramble and Andy O'Brien, believes United's Jekyll and Hyde defending has much to do with Newcastle's natural attacking instincts.

"It is difficult to know why this is happening away from home," said Dabizas. "Maybe it is the nature of the team.

"At home we don't have to defend for such long periods and we put the opposition under pressure. We've done really well at home but away from home it is a different story because we have to defend from the very start.

"You have to have quality players to defend away from home. We have those but maybe we're lacking that extra thing. I don't know what it is.

"We're trying really hard, because as the gaffer said with the kind of players we have defending is not their main strength and away from home especially it is a different story."


The Evening Chronicle

 

232 Appearances in England (175 for Newcastle United, 18 for Leicester in the Premier League and 39 for Leicester in the Championship). Total League-Cup-Europe appearances 550. National Team appearances 70. Goals total 40.