Last updated : 12 January 2004 By Editor
Paul Durkin has accepted that he should have given Newcastle
a penalty:

“It happened so quickly. I was expecting the ball to be
played upfield and I was caught quite a distance from play
and I was just totally uncertain. Obviously I've seen it on
the replays and there is contact there. From where I am,
unless I'm 100% certain that there's been contact then I
can't give the penalty and that was the case.

“I am disappointed from a personal point of view because we
like to get the big ones right. But people need to
understand it happens so quick and I've got a split second
to make a decision.”

Durkin however refused to admit he was in the wrong for
disallowing Silvestre’s ‘goal’. Meanwhile Shearer comes out
with the usual bitter guff:

“We should have had a penalty and if I was playing in red I
would have had a penalty. But it's too much to ask to give
Alan Shearer a penalty at the Stretford End. I asked him
"why didn't you book me for diving if you didn't think it
was a penalty?" and he said, "I didn't think you dived".
Work that one out.”

Sir Alex had this to say:

“I listened to Paul Durkin and I didn't agree. I thought it
was a perfectly good goal, just as I thought it was a
penalty kick. Paul Durkin is right when he says he wants to
get the big decisions right - but he's given himself a get-
out clause.

"I have no doubt it was a goal but Paul used his experience
to get himself out of a hole. We would probably have had to
get three balls in the net before he gave us one.

“We could have won it. We had the better chances, better
spells of pressure. They pressed the ball everywhere and
showed determination but didn't really make any chances.

"It was a very difficult game for us. Newcastle are in form,
they made us work hard and a draw was probably a fair
result. Arsenal and Chelsea still have to go to St James'
Park and Newcastle are always a handful up there.

"We all know there will be a few points dropped from now
until the end of the season but we know the drill. The
important thing was that we maintained our momentum. Now we
have to keep it that way."

Sir Bobby Robson:

“He is being honest and I applaud him for that. It has gone
against us, but you can't get everything. It was a big blow
for us and looked as if Howard did catch Alan. It looked
like a penalty.”