Sibierski swoops for Magpies

NEWCASTLE boss Glenn Roeder paid tribute to the mental strength of his players after their first win in the Premiership in 10 matches.

Substitute Antoine Sibierski’s second goal in four days and his first for the club in the league, was enough to clinch victory over Portsmouth.

However, the Magpies endured a tense conclusion as the heroics of Pompey keeper David James denied them a more comfortable winning margin.

But Roeder was eventually able to celebrate a first league win at St James’s Park since the season opener.

Roeder said: “We all knew we had to start winning. We have got ourselves uncomfortably close to the wrong end of the table. We know at times we have played well enough to have picked up points, but we have not.

“The players have played well in the past and not picked up points, but they knew it was only a matter of time before they played well and won a game.

“It is just a shame a couple of the other chances did not go in to give the scoreline a more realistic look.”

Fit-again midfielder Kieron Dyer was again the driving force for the Magpies.

Roeder said: “There are not too many other players you can compare Kieron with. He has his own style. He is very important to the side.”

Pompey boss Harry Redknapp admitted his side did not deserve anything from the game. He confirmed skipper Dejan Stefanovic will undergo surgery on a knee injury today after limping off at half time.

NEWCASTLE: Given, Solano, Taylor, Bramble, Ramage, Milner (Sibierski 45), Parker (Butt 24), Emre, N’Zogbia (Luque 90), Dyer, Martins.

PORTSMOUTH: James, Pamarot, Primus, Campbell, Stefanovic (Taylor 46), Thompson, Davis, Pedro Mendes (Kranjcar 71), O’Neil, Kanu, Mwaruwari (Douala 59).

Referee: M Halsey (Lancashire).

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