Clean sheet delights Souness

Newcastle United FC manager Graeme Souness was pleased to see his side victorious following a tough week.

Alan Shearer, who only last week agreed to stay on for another season as captain of Newcastle United FC, was the hero at St James' Park yet again, scoring the only goal of the game in this UEFA Cup quarter-final first leg. The win was a relief for Newcastle manager Graeme Souness, who has endured a difficult few days after Kieron Dyer and Lee Bowyer were sent off for fighting each other in Saturday's 3-0 Premiership loss to Aston Villa FC. Sporting Clube de Portugal coach José Peseiro said his side are far from defeated despite prolific striker Liedson's suspension for Thursday's return.

Graeme Souness, Newcastle manager
I'm pleased to get it out of the way. We haven't played well tonight, but we kept a clean sheet and that's the important thing. It's been a difficult week for us and there was pressure on the players out there. I'm glad to be going to Lisbon with a clean sheet and a victory but there's a lot of football still to be played in this tie. We can play better than that and for all the pressure Sporting had, they didn't really create many chances. [Newcastle goalkeeper] Shay Given had to come off at half-time with a hip injury and that's a worry for us, but hopefully we will have a few fresh faces back for next week's game.

José Peseiro, Sporting coach
Sporting did their best, we created opportunities hoping to get a draw, but we cannot dismiss the good play of Newcastle United. I thought there was a block on one of our defenders for Shearer's goal but that's in the past and I don't want to use it as an excuse for losing the match. We will be without Liedson for the second match but Sporting will play with its best team and we will be motivated to get the result we need. We will be playing in front of our own fans and if they get behind us, we will do our best to win.

Alan Shearer, Newcastle captain
It is a very good win, there was a lot of pressure for obvious reasons. We've got a good record in this competition and we proved we mean business. We want to go all the way, we want to win it. There was a lot of determination out there to get the win and we've got it. It will be a tough game over there, they have got enough quality on the ball to cause anyone problems but we always fancy our chances to score and we've kept a clean sheet here.

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