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29/04/2002

Damaged finger

Damaged finger

Nicos dabizas has pointed out why he did not add to his considerable goals tally for Newcastle United on Saturday - his damaged finger.

The Greek international seemed to be in with a chance of his fourth goal of the season when the ball dropped to his feet just six yards away from the West Ham goal.

However, Dabizas - he is already the leading scorer in United's history as a central defender - told me today: "Unfortunately, I had my back to the goal.

"And because I have a bandage on my finger, which has ligament damage, I could not hold my man off to turn and score. Having my back to the goal is most definitely not my favourite position at the moment.

"In fact, I suppose you could say that because of my finger injury I can only score if I am facing the opposing goal."

The 29-year-old defender has 13 goals to his name in a black and white shirt and he was not too unhappy at the one which got away on Saturday.

But like everyone else at St James's Park he was far from happy at United's poor first-half performance.

"We were letharic in the first half and very flat and not compact enough and West Ham had some chances and they played a lot better than us," added Dabizas.

"They took the lead and it is not the best thing that can happen to you, especially when you are at home. Yet sometimes it is like a warning bell ringing and sometimes it works for you and that's what happened on Saturday.

"But I thought in the second half we did very well without playing particularly well, although it was effective and this is the sign of a good team."

The Magpies will now face Manchester United in the final, which will be held over two legs on May 6 and 13.


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.