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12/09/2001

Long time

Long time
From the official web site:

GOAL JOY FOR DABIZAS

Nikolaos Dabizas savoured his first goal in 20 months, and admitted: "It's been a long time coming."

The Greek has netted a few useful goals for Newcastle United during his three-and-a-half years on Tyneside, including his effort in the 4-1 victory at Middlesbrough.

But Saturday's strike was not only important in that it put the Magpies ahead for the first time in the game - it was also the central defender's first goal since the knee ligament injury that ruled him out for much of last season.

Dabizas' last goal had been in a 5-0 win over Southampton back in January 2000. And he said: "I was delighted to see my goal go in because it put us on the road to victory."

"But from a personal point of view, it was also special because it was the first time I had scored since my long time out through injury. Since coming back, I've had chances to score for both Newcastle and Greece, so I was pleased to see one finally hit the back of the net."

"Usually when I get one goal a few more follow. It's still early in the season so I'm hoping there'll be more to come."

The Riverside Stadium has been a happy hunting ground for the 27-year-old. Three seasons ago he came off the bench to head a late equaliser in a 2-2 draw. This time around, Dabizas ghosted past a Middlesbrough defence to steer home a 59th minute cross from Laurent Robert.

He said: "It was an easy goal, but an important one. It came at a crucial point in the game because Middlesbrough were down to ten men and we knew that if we got in front we could go on and win the game. We have some tough games coming up, starting with Manchester United at St James' Park next Saturday, so we knew we had to win this one."

"We were very poor in the beginning and conceded an early goal. We did not play really well in the first-half at all but after the break we dominated. For my goal, I was up for a set piece and because Middlesbrough were a man down I knew I could stay up in attack."

"It has been in my mind for a while that I wanted to score and I have been waiting for the right moment. So I stayed at the back post and as soon as Laurent crossed from the left I made my run and surprised a few people when I came in from behind to score."

For Dabizas, the goal and the victory were the perfect pick-me-up following Greece's 5-1 thrashing by Finland in last Wednesday's World Cup qualifier.

He added: "What happened with Greece was the most disappointing defeat in my international career. But it's in the past now, and as soon as I landed back at Newcastle Airport on Thursday, my mind was only on the Middlesbrough game.

"I had a chat with Bobby Robson because he was concerned about that loss but I was just focused on winning the game with Newcastle."


NUFC.co.uk

 

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.