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Mission accomplished for Newcastle

Published: Friday 17 December 2004, 9.00CET
Group D: Newcastle United FC are looking onwards and upwards after clinching first place in the section.
Published: Friday 17 December 2004, 9.00CET

Mission accomplished for Newcastle

Group D: Newcastle United FC are looking onwards and upwards after clinching first place in the section.

Newcastle United FC confirmed their place at the top of UEFA Cup Group D with a 1-1 draw at home to Sporting Clube de Portugal, Craig Bellamy giving his team an early advantage before Custódio restored parity before half-time. FC Sochaux-Montbéliard claimed second place thanks to Mickaël Isabey's late winner against Panionios NFC to leave Sporting third.

With the team we had out tonight we played the type of game we needed to get a result. We had a relatively inexperienced team and we worked hard this week not to get frustrated against a team who we felt would be good on the ball. They're a good footballing team, they had a lot of the ball which is not ideal at home, but our goalkeeper has not had a save to make all night, so we must have done something right. I can understand some of our supporters not enjoying the game tonight because they want to see us on the ball and on the front foot. But I would ask them to look at the team we had tonight; we were missing some big hitters and I think we did very well. Newcastle manager Graeme Souness

I thought we played very well, we dominated the game and could have got a better result. But it's difficult playing against a side from the Premiership as we don't have the same kind of budget as a club like Newcastle. We don't fear anyone in the next round. We have to do our best and be prepared to face any team. I don't have a particular choice in terms of who we might face. Sporting coach José Peseiro

We're through with nine points and three wins so that's positive. It was a genuine achievement for my players to win at Sporting. The new format was a profitable experience. Now we'll get a big gun in the next round when we come back to classic two-legged matches. Sochaux coach Guy Lacombe

We were here to win and we had opportunities to do so. We just missed a little bit of luck on the counterattack. I'm disappointed, but proud of my players. Panionios coach Giorgios Vazakas

Last updated: 17/12/04 11.40CET

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