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14/07/2003

Dabizas raring to get going!

Dabizas raring to get going!

Newcastle United defender Nikos Dabizas is ready to put himself in the market place in the quest for first-team football.

The 29-year-old Greek international was one of five men told by Sir Bobby Robson at the end of last season that he could leave the club, but he has spent the summer recovering from a broken hand suffered in a car crash in Athens.

Thankfully, he is now approaching the point where he can start to contemplate pre-season training, and that will give him a chance to put himself in the shop window.

"I am back in training on Monday and hopefully that will prove to clubs that I'm not badly injured," he said.

"Because of the car crash and rumours that that I would be out of action for months, there have been no official bids for me yet as people think that I am not going to be able to play for them until Christmas.

"Hopefully, things will start to speed up once I get back to Newcastle as it will show that I'm close to being able to play football again.

"There has been contact with clubs, but nothing official yet. I expect that to change once I get back for pre-season training."

Dabizas, who was regarded by Robson as one of his key players during the early days of his reign at St James' Park, has attracted interest from clubs both at home and abroad, but has previously spoken of his desire to remain in the Premiership.

Despite his disappointment at his slide down the St James' pecking order, he insists there are no hard feelings as he plots the way forward.

"It is a little frustrating that things have stalled because of my hand, but they can start moving again now," he told The Journal. "I am not able to play football at the moment because of the injury, but I can do general fitness work.

"I am looking forward to coming back to Newcastle. It will be a little strange because everybody knows I'm on the transfer list.

"But I have no problem with the club, the manager or the players. I think they respect my desire to play regular first-team football at this stage of my career."


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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.