The Football League Paper - - TFLP - By Chris Dunlavy

NEW­CAS­TLE star Paul Dum­mett says there’ll be no Tiki-Taka on Ty­ne­side as the Toon slog their way back to the Premier League. Since a 4-0 de­mo­li­tion of rock-bot­tom Rother­ham in Jan­uary, all but two of the ta­ble-top­pers’ vic­to­ries have been by a sin­gle goal. That run also in­cludes grim 0-0 draws at Birm­ing­ham and Read­ing, with op­po­nents un­der­stand­ably happy to park the bus and de­ploy the hand­brake. Vic­tory over bat­tling Bur­ton in mid­week was typimett. cal of re­cent New­cas­tle games: ob­du­rate op­po­nents, tense at­mos­phere, a cagey home side un­will­ing to take risks. In the end, only a won­der strike from Matt Ritchie broke the dead­lock.

But, with a ten-point cush­ion to third-placed Huddersfield pre-week­end and the prize within reach, Dum­mett says no­body at St James’ should com­plain.

“It hasn’t been pretty and it won’t be for the rest of the sea­son,” ad­mit­ted the 25year-old full-back. “But the points are all that counts now. it’s at­trac­tive foot­ball, ugly foot­ball, luck or what­ever, it’s just about get­ting the job done.

“Teams are com­ing here to try and sit back, hit us on the break or score from a set­piece. Most would be happy with a point. It’s all about try­ing to frus­trate us.


“It’s some­thing a lot of us haven’t faced be­fore. It has been dif­fi­cult at times, but the facts speak for them­selves.

“We’re top of the league, we’ve got 84 points. We’ve coped with those tac­tics re­ally well and, as Bur­ton found out, we usu­ally find a way to win.

“Keep do­ing that and we’ll win the league.”

Wed­nes­day’s 1-0 vic­tory was over­shad­owed by ref­eree Keith Stroud, who dis­al­lowed Ritchie’s first-half penalty for en­croach­ment and mis­tak­enly awarded a free-kick to Bur­ton in­stead of or­der­ing a re­take.

The game was held up for five min­utes amid fu­ri­ous scenes on the touch­line, with Stroud later ad­mit­ting he’d mis­ap­plied the rules.

“It was chaos,” said DumWhether “None of us knew what he had given it for, and I heard all sorts on the pitch – that Dwight (Gayle) had fouled one of their play­ers as the penalty was taken. That some­one had en­croached.

“I ac­tu­ally spoke to the fourth of­fi­cial for a cou­ple of min­utes and soon re­alised no­body re­ally knew what was go­ing on.

“All you could do was carry on, try to fo­cus.

“The ref ’s made a mis­take and, thank­fully, he’s ad­mit­ted it now. Luck­ily we got the three points so it didn’t mat­ter much.”

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Images

JOB TO BE DONE: Paul Dum­mett is ready to bat­tle

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