Damien Duff has fessed up and said itâ€™s the Newcastle players that the Newcastle fans should ne after and not exclusively Big Sam.
Damien Duff – tells the absolute truth this afternoon
Duff said in an interview with the Evening Chronicle this afternoon, that itâ€™s Sam’s under-achieving players that should take the blame for the clubâ€™s woeful Christmas performances. We think Damien has a point.
The 28-year-old left winger will play against his old club Chelsea in the Premier League tomorrow afternoon, as Newcastle attempt to get back on track in the league after two disastrous performances.
Duff said this afternoon:
â€œNewcastle is obviously a big club, but we all love the gaffer.â€ â€œWe are behind him and we just want to put it right for him. He cannot take all the flak.â€
â€œWe are the ones on the pitch â€“ so donâ€™t hammer him, hammer us.â€
Duff is right to come out and place some responsibility onto the players, because too many of them just donâ€™t turn up for the games. Itâ€™s hard to tell who that will be beforehand, and it has to be frustrating for the big man. The 27-year-old Irishman, who made his very first start of the season on Boxing Day against Wigan, following his very serious ankle injury, continued:
â€œThe players have to stand up and be counted as well.â€ â€œWe are all in this together and we need to knuckle down and start getting positive results because we owe that to him.â€
Duff will play against his former club admitting he feared his career may have been over after dislocating his foot at Portsmouth in April. Duff continued:
â€œYes, I did fear my career was over. It was a career-threatening injury and, from a personal point of view, it is great to be back.â€
And Duff freely admits that his Newcastle career has yet to get off the ground and that he has so far under-performed at the Newcastle club:
â€œI know I have.â€ â€œIt was for simple reasons, really. I know I never got going myself. I didnâ€™t do a pre-season, and if youâ€™re involved in football, you know what a massive thing that is.â€
â€œWith the injuries, I could never cope after that.â€ â€œIâ€™ve been out for eight and a half months now and Iâ€™ve had a pre-season. Iâ€™ve got that strength and base, and I can build on that. Iâ€™m fine.â€
â€œIâ€™ll be first to admit I was never fine last season. I never felt sharp and I never felt fit. I gave 200% even though it never looked like it. I couldnâ€™t really get around the pitch.”
â€œBut Iâ€™ve loved every minute here, even though it hasnâ€™t really gone that well.â€ â€œAs far as my operation is concerned, you have only got a certain window to do it and I just got it in the nick of time.”
â€œA top surgeon in London did it. Itâ€™s been a while now, and Iâ€™m back 100% fit. I just want to get sorted with Newcastle.”
â€œI feel fit. My body feels great â€“ I could run all day.” â€œI maybe ache some days, but with regards to my match fitness, Iâ€™m fine now. Thereâ€™s no problem.â€
There’s a certain whiff of fresh air when you hear someone tell the plain unvarnished truth. And Damien is right that our players have to take responsibility. We hope they will do just that, and that they will give a fighting display to remember, at Stamford Bridge tomorrow.