Football: Blake shows Newcastle how to score

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The Independent Online
Kenny Dalglish is witnessing the demise of Newcastle United's title challenge because his side cannot score goals.

That was the stark fact facing the Newcastle manager after Monday's 1- 0 defeat at Bolton Wanderers, and how Dalglish would love to have a striker like Nathan Blake at the sharp end of a Magpies attack shorn of Alan Shearer and Faustino Asprilla through injury.

Blake scored a fine goal, led the line with fire, strength and passion, and Newcastle could not cope. It was the end of a week on the road for Dalglish in which the Geordies have seen their Champions' League dreams end and their championship hopes take a fearful jolt.

Dalglish moaned that his team should not have been made to play three times in six days, but Bolton could not care less about that. They were quite within their rights to play the game as it was scheduled.

While Bolton celebrated rising to 13th place, Dalglish reacted to remarks made on television by the club's new chairman, Freddie Shepherd, that there was money to spend. "There was nothing the chairman has said that I didn't know already," Dalglish said. "I feel the lads that have been up front have done well. There's no guarantee that if we did have Alan and Tino we would score any more goals.

"We are the same as everyone else, we would like to get more players in but it has to be good quality, if we find them I will buy them. Goals were hard to come by, but we got into their box enough, we just couldn't finish.

"Liverpool and Manchester United have both only drawn at Bolton, but we couldn't quite manage that."

Welshman Blake has done his popularity at Bolton no harm at all with two goals that have earned his side six points in three days.

"Nathan did what he does best when he gets on people's shoulders," Scott Sellars, the Wanderers midfielder, said. "He's strong and quick and I thought he finished brilliantly.

"I suppose it gave me a little more satisfaction than the other Bolton players because it was my old side Newcastle, but most of all we had that game in hand and we had to get the three points."