For the first time, Glenn Roeder must have felt like Graeme Souness. The caretaker manager had to defend an insipid Newcastle display last night, while discussing a fresh injury to Kieron Dyer.
Dyer, who scored in his first start for six months on Saturday, faces another three weeks out after fresh problems with his troublesome hamstrings as he missed this mind-numbing stalemate last night.
"Kieron's got a mild strain and he's hugely disappointed," revealed Roeder, who remains unbeaten in the four games since Souness was sacked. "There's no way to think he's back to square one, but you're concerned with any player who is out injured and we're taking a view he'll be available in three weeks. It's a setback because he's worked so hard to get back."
Titus Bramble faces a similar period on the sidelines after joining Newcastle's hamstrung brigade, but the absent Alan Shearer remains confident of facing Everton on Saturday.
The watching David Moyes wore the glazed-over look of a man on the verge of nodding off, and this Newcastle performance will not give the Everton manager sleepless nights. "It looked like a stalemate all along," admitted the Charlton manager, Alan Curbishley, whose side gained only a second away point from a last possible 24 on the road. He added: "We came here desperate to stop this away run and have gone towards it."
On this evidence, toothless does not even begin to describe Newcastle's future without Shearer. Shola Ameobi, who looks as well equipped to step into the captain's boots next season as Jimmy Nail, fluffed the latest chance to prove his growing number of doubters are mistaken. Ameobi summed up a desperate personal display near the end when he headed an Emre corner into the Gallowgate from five yards.
"It was the best chance of the game," admitted Roeder. "A free header in front of an empty net. Shola's very unhappy because he knows he should have won the game."
It could have been worse for Roeder, and it took a double block from Jean-Alain Boumsong seven minutes from time to deny Darren Bent and then Marcus Bent to enable Newcastle to rise to 13th, a place and a point behind Charlton.
Newcastle United (4-4-1-1): Given; Ramage, Bramble, Boumsong (Luque, 56), Elliott; Solano, Parker, Bowyer, N'Zogbia; Emre; Ameobi. Substitutes not used: Harper (gk), Chopra, Faye, Clark.
Charlton Athletic (4-4-1-1): Myhre; Young, Perry, Hreidarsson, Spector; Kishishev, Holland, Hughes (Euell, 70), Ambrose; M Bent; D Bent. Substitutes not used: Randolph (gk), Bothroyd, Powell, El Karkouri.
Referee: U Rennie (S Yorkshire).Reuse content