Sir Bobby Robson will relish the opportunity to renew acquaintance with his former club PSV Eindhoven after Newcastle United FC easily booked their quarter-final place in the UEFA Cup by doubling their fourth-round advantage over RCD Mallorca to six goals.
'Three great years'
The Newcastle manager, who before the game agreed a new one-year contract with the St James’ Park club, said: "I had three great years there and I’m going to look forward to going back. They are marvellous people but let’s hope we can knock them out."
The 71-year-old will certainly be anticipating a tougher challenge than that posed by the Spanish club, who did not look as if they truly believed they could make a serious impression on Newcastle's 4-1 first-leg lead. Once Alan Shearer scored the first of his two goals at the start of the second half the outcome was beyond doubt but Sir Bobby revealed that it took some stirring interval words to shake up his men.
'Loose and lackadaisical'
"We had to wind them up at half-time but sometimes you have to do that with players. We were loose and lackadaisical in the first half, we played like it was a Tuesday morning practice match. But we got better and it all worked out well in the end."
Sir Bobby was full of praise for his goalscorers and said that after Shearer opened the scoring Newcastle had control of the match. "Alan took it masterfully, while for the second goal you could not have a better player for the ball to come to in that situation. Craig Bellamy is clever at that, he raced away and slotted the ball past the goalkeeper.
"Craig is one of the fastest players in the team and he must have thought it was Christmas when he picked the ball up. Alan has done well for the third goal to get in position but the spadework was done by Olivier Bernard.
All in all we can’t be disappointed, 7-1 on aggregate is pretty good."
Sir Bobby also acknowledged the part played by Shay Given, who while never put under sustained pressure, still pulled off one or two important saves when required. "Shay’s a great goalkeeper, one of the best, and he's played very well tonight," the Newcastle manager added.
Mallorca coach Luis Aragonés said his side's downfall was brought about by individual mistakes and said his relegation-threatened team would have to concentrate on the league from now on. He said his team had "played a wonderful first half, clearly better than Newcastle did" but then added that they should not have "thrown in the towel" after the first goal had gone in.
We made a mistake after 30 seconds of the second half and it was enough to lose us the match," Aragonés added. "We have ended up losing 7-1 on aggregate and that is not normal."
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