Thank Roeder for Euro dream
It might not have the sparkle and the glamour of the Champions League but should Glenn Roeder guide Newcastle United to the UEFA Cup group stages tonight it can only be described as a minor miracle.
Too often United are a victim of their own high standards which ultimately leads to bitter disappointment come the end of the season or the end of a venture in any of the cup competitions.
But look where Roeder found United when he was asked to take over as caretaker manager last February.
Flirting with relegation to the Championship, thatÃ¢ÂÂs where.
What was the expecation level then?
We were a million miles away from Europe!
And look at some of the fixtures they could find themselves involved in during the group stages.
Roeder guided a team whose confidence was on the floor to the top seven of the Premiership.
And bagged an InterÃ¢ÂÂToto Cup place, without any money to spend, without Michael Owen (unless 29 minutes at Birmingham counts) and denied Alan Shearer for the crucial final two games of the season.
He also did it without a recognised number two and should he book a place in the next stage of the UEFA Cup once more it will be without the wealth of coaches like some clubs, namely Bolton and their army of backroom staff.
Kevin Bond has come and gone and Roeder, Lee Clark and Terry McDermott are the main men as United look to march on in Europe.
Still Owen is out, Shearer has gone too.
But ultimately Roeder is the man who carries the responsibility on his shoulders as manager and at the moment he is doing that well.
Roeder hasnÃ¢ÂÂt been backed in the same way that any of the men who have been there before him and you couldnÃ¢ÂÂt blame him if that thought has crossed his mind since taking over in the hotseat.
The millions enjoyed by Keegan, Dalglish, Gullit, Robson and Souness are gone because the pot is more or less empty.
With a lack of coaching staff, transfer kitty and the usual spate of untimely injuries, United could go into October challenging for three cups and still in the mixer for a top six place this term Ã¢ÂÂ although the odds are well against United to better last seasonÃ¢ÂÂs seventh place finish.
Who would have thought that after the shocking 3-0 drubbing at Man City in SounessÃ¢ÂÂs last game in charge?
Roeder can only work with the tools heÃ¢ÂÂs got and it could be said heÃ¢ÂÂs doing that with some aplomb.
It might not be the Champions League or the entertainment eras of Robson or Keegan Ã¢ÂÂ but times have been a lot worse than they are now under Mr Roeder.