Keller clouds the issue for Keegan

It takes a certain unflappability to handle the post-match interview, to keep your cool when circumstances have called for some harsh comments in the dressing room, the necessary bruising of a few egos.

The chore gets to Kevin Keegan. A heart on the sleeve type, it shows on his face, and in sharp rejoinders. I don't need this, but keep calm, you imagine him thinking.

As Newcastle's manager shouldered his way through a crowded corridor at Filbert Street, he could be heard muttering darkly about being turned over by somebody from one of the television channels. Grumpy was the best word to describe him.

Well, wouldn't you know it. Just a week after the result that had Newcastle wallowing in euphoria, Keegan found himself back with the persistent reality of life in the Premiership. How can you put five goals past Manchester United and then go down 2-0 at Leicester?

Easy. Get caught up in midfield skirmishes at the expense of passing, further reveal the shortcomings that have led to the appointment of Mark Lawrenson as defensive co-ordinator, and, especially in the case of David Ginola, react childishly to the referee's decisions. Understandably, Keegan made it clear to the temperamental Frenchman at half-time that, one way or another, he would not complete 90 minutes.

There were other factors to explain Keegan's pained countenance. The sidelining of Alan Shearer - "We were a good team before he joined us" - the brilliance of Kasey Keller in Leicester's goal and the sustained effort put in by Martin O'Neill's team.

But for Keller's gymnastics and positioning, Les Ferdinand would have made Shearer's absence irrelevant. "Looking at two of the saves made, you think about Pat Jennings and Peter Shilton," O'Neill said. Yes, they were that good, both from headers, the first before Steve Claridge gave Leicester the lead following a neat move along Newcastle's left.

Of course, O'Neill found questions easier to deal with. "I watched Newcastle beat Manchester United last week, and it was frightening," he said. "I thought we'd better show up at the wrong time like Estonia did against Scotland. They've got some terrific players and whoever finishes above them this season will win the Championship."

For O'Neill it is mainly a question of survival, and a great deal will depend on how long the energy lasts through a long and inevitably difficult season. Nevertheless, there is comfort in having taken Leicester to near half-way in the table.

That was ensured 11 minutes from time when Emile Heskey claimed Leicester's second with a goal of remarkable maturity for a player who is still well on the right side of his 20th birthday.

It showed also how rapidly a game can change, going from nearly being one thing to another. In one of many attacks that had O'Neill wondering if his watch had stopped, Peter Beardsley found Philippe Albert with an exquisite chip that should have brought Newcastle an equaliser. Albert sent an easy header wide and almost immediately the enterprising Mustafa Izzett played Heskey in with a pass that caught Newcastle square.

The youngster didn't panic. Keeping his head, he rounded Pavel Srnicek and scored with the sort of coolness that enters conversations whenever Jimmy Greaves's name is mentioned. Heskey has got a long way to go but you would not want to bet against him getting there.

Coming off at the end, Ginola was still complaining. Booked in the first half for feigning an injury, jeered incessantly by Leicester's supporters, he was an altogther different proposition after the interval. A class act until he forgets that even the very best footballers must fight for the right to show how good they are.

Goals: Claridge (17) 1-0; Heskey (79) 2-0.

Leicester City (5-3-2): Keller; Grayson, Prior, Watts, Walsh, Whitlow, Lennon, Izzet (Lawrence, 90), Taylor; Claridge (Marshall, 55), Heskey. Substitutes not used: Parker, Hill, Poole (gk).

Newcastle United (4-4-2): Srnicek; Watson (Kitson, 69), Peacock, Albert, Beresford; Lee, Batty, Clark (Asprilla, 69), Ginola; Ferdinand, Beardsley. Substitutes not used: Barton, Elliott Hislop (gk).

Referee: G Poll (Tring).

Bookings: Leicester: Lennon, Taylor. Newcastle: Batty, Albert, Lee, Ginola.

Man of the match: Keller.

Attendance: 21,134.

Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and Clara have their first real heart to heart since he regenerated in 'Deep Breath'
TV
Life and Style
Apple showed no sign of losing its talent for product launches with the new, slightly larger iPhone 6 making headlines
techSecurity breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Oliver
filmTV chef Jamie Oliver turned down role in The Hobbit
News
The official police photograph of Dustin Diamond taken after he was arrested in Wisconsin
peopleDownfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Clarkson, left, and Richard Hammond upset the locals in South America
tvReview: Top Gear team flee Patagonia as Christmas special reaches its climax in the style of Butch and Sundance
News
people
Sport
Ashley Barnes of Burnley scores their second goal
footballMan City vs Burnley match report
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca alongside Harrison Ford's Han Solo in 'Star Wars'
film
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Man of action: Christian Bale stars in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
Arts and Entertainment
Tracy Emin's 1998 piece 'My Bed' on display at Christie's
artOne expert claims she did not
News
Ernesto Che Guevara and Fidel Castro, right, met at Havana Golf Club in 1962 to mock the game
newsFidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
News
Hackers revealed Oscar-winning actress Lawrence was paid less than her male co-stars in American Hustle
people
Arts and Entertainment
Clueless? Locked-door mysteries are the ultimate manifestation of the cerebral detective story
booksAs a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Sport
Robin van Persie is blocked by Hugo Lloris
footballTottenham vs Manchester United match report
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Business Manager

£32000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Manager is required ...

Recruitment Genius: Operations Manager

£45000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Panel & Cabinet Wireman

£20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Panel Wireman required for small electro...

Recruitment Genius: Electronics Test Engineer

£25000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An SME based in East Cheshire, ...

Day In a Page

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?