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Friday, January 25, 2008
Toon defender Rozenhal impressed by Keegan

Newcastle United defender David Rozehnal admits he did not know what to expect when Kevin Keegan walked into the dressing room for the first time.

The 27-year-old Czech Republic international knew of the former England manager and the magic he had worked on Tyneside during his first spell in charge.

However, having spent a week or so working with the 56-year-old, he is confident his charismatic approach can help the club fight its way back to where it wants to be.

Rozehnal said: 'I had just heard he was a great player and was a great manager. When he was here before, everybody liked him and he did a good job here.

'But that's all I knew about him.

'Now I have met him and he has spoken to the team, he seems to be a really clever guy and he seems to be really close to the team.

'Hopefully he will bring a lot to the team and help us to move a little bit.'

Keegan will need all his powers of motivation to convince his side they can return from the Emirates Stadium on Saturday having denied Arsenal a place in the FA Cup fifth round.

The Magpies went out of the Carling Cup in the third round in North London when Arsene Wenger's second string won far more convincingly than the 2-0 scoreline suggests.

They will return to the Emirates next Tuesday night in the Barclays Premier League, and the Gunners' 5-1 Carling Cup semi-final, second leg mauling by arch-rivals Tottenham in midweek will have made their task no easier in either game.

The edge was slightly taken off Keegan's homecoming last Saturday when Bolton spoiled the party by holding Newcastle to a goalless draw 24 hours after the manager had promised to bring the flair back to St James' Park.

However, that is unlikely to have dented his enthusiasm to play the game in the only way he knows, and Rozehnal for one is looking forward to that, although he knows there will be times when a more cautious approach is needed.

He said: 'He said was he wants to play more football, that's for sure.

'I have heard that's what he played before at Newcastle. I think that's what we need, more football.

'Of course, we will play against bigger teams sometimes defensive, but especially at home, we have to play, we have to score goals, we have to keep clean sheets.'

Midfielders Nicky Butt and Alan Smith will be available after suspension, but Emre is still banned.

Striker Mark Viduka remains a doubt with a calf problem, while Joey Barton is once again unlikely to figure.




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