Kieron Dyer gave both Newcastle United and England a boost yesterday, returning from a long injury lay-off as a second-half substitute in the Magpies' hard-fought win at his former club, Ipswich.
Dyer, who broke into the England side under Kevin Keegan with a series of dazzling performances as a right wing-back, last appeared almost 10 months ago, on 24 February at home to Manchester City, and has since been ruled out with shin-related problems.
However, he came on with nine minutes left at Portman Road as Nolberto Solano's 20th-minute strike secured a 1-0 win to keep Newcastle fourth in the FA Barclaycard Premiership and deepen Ipswich's plight at the bottom of the table.
"It's been an absolute nightmare to have been out injured for the past 10 months but coming back at Ipswich was maybe fate," a delighted Dyer said. "When Olivier Bernard came on for Laurent Robert in the second half, I was steaming on the touchline, desperate to get on.
"Eventually the manager put me on and it's a great feeling to be back. Now I've just got to get my head down and try to win back a regular place for Newcastle."
Newcastle's woeful run of results in London is well documented but this was their first victory south of the midlands in an incredible 36 games. That included 28 fixtures in the capital, four games at Southampton, one at Watford and another at Stevenage, as well as last season's defeat at Ipswich.
Leeds United ended a recent barren run and kept up the pressure on Liverpool and Arsenal by winning 2-1 at Blackburn thanks to two second-half goals from Harry Kewell. However, David O'Leary's side suffered another injury to add to their growing casualty list after Olivier Dacourt suffered a dislocated shoulder, ruling him out of action for at least six weeks.
"The biggest disappointment is that we will be without Olivier for quite a while," O'Leary said. "It is another bad blow for us, because we are already down to the bare bones. We are losing players badly, and I do not know where we go from here."Reuse content