Lee sets goal target as Dyer improves aim

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The Independent Football

Kieron Dyer capped a fine individual display with his first goal of the new campaign in Newcastle's 3-1 defeat of Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium on Monday night .

Kieron Dyer capped a fine individual display with his first goal of the new campaign in Newcastle's 3-1 defeat of Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium on Monday night .

The Newcastle manager, Bobby Robson, rates Dyer highly, but has been known to bemoan his lack of a clinicalfinish at various times over the last year or so. However, the emphatic way in which Dyer unleashed his 88th-minute strike at the Riverside Stadium suggests his lesson may be being learned.

Dyer's team-mate, the former England international midfielder Robert Lee, knows better than most just how much ability the pacy midfielder has at his disposal, and he is challenging Dyer to aim for the same sort of target which he himself set during his formative years. He believes Dyer has to score more often if he is to establish himself as a genuine talent.

"With the type of belief that he's got in himself, he should be getting more goals," Lee said. "He's the type of midfielder I used to be and I was disappointed when I didn't get 15 goals a season.

"He should be getting that amount of goals. Considering the positions he gets himself into, anything less than that and he should be disappointed. But if he improves his finishing, he will reach that target this season."

If Dyer stood out at Middlesbrough, the rest of his team-mates were not far behind as Newcastle romped to a comfortable win against a hugely disappointing Boro side.

It was their third away win in the Premiership in five attempts this season - they only achieved four in the whole of the previous campaign - and it could have been even better had they not failed to end their 28-year hoodoo at Southampton.

"We've been playing really well away from home, that's why the Southampton result was such a disappointment," said Lee.

The Boro result was another tactical triumph for Robson as he abandoned his usual 4-4-2 formation to employ a three-man defence in a bid to keep the Croatian Alen Boksic quiet. The policy was largely successful as Aaron Hughes, Alain Goma and Laurent Charvet limited the striker to a handful of half-chances.

But as Lee, Dyer and their team-mates left Teesside wreathed in smiles, the inquest at the Riverside Stadium was beginning in earnest. The Boro manager, Bryan Robson, had an extended session with his players in the dressing-room after the final whistle, but later emerged in defiant mood.

As the pressure mounts on him, he was asked if he would consider resigning: his reply was a short and unequivocal negative.

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